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Home > Blog > If Brands are dead, what is feeling sick?
Out of Our Minds
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 3:50 PM
If Brands are dead, what is feeling sick?
Anita Sharpe on Business

A piece in the November issue of Wired magazine predicts a dire future for companies that rely on the strength of their brands instead of great customer service, lower prices or -- most important -- constant innovation.

'Brands have run out of juice. They're dead,' Saatchi &Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts tells Wired (the issue isn't archived online yet.)

If you can't rely on the old formula of capturing customers at 18 or 25 and counting on their lifelong loyalty to your brand, won't this -- to some degree -- reshape the entire media landscape? If advertising becomes less youth obsessed, won't everything else? Or am I just getting old?


3 comments

Laura Bergells - 10/27/2004 10:55:59 AM
Brand isn't exactly dead. It's just that the traditional advertising agency's definition of 'brand' is as outdated as a cowpoke from the 1800's burning an image into the side of a longhorn.

To an advertising agency and an old cowboy, 'brand' means 'a burned image'. A logo, if you will, burned into every bit of collateral or property.

But here's a fact that traditional agencies like Saatchi ignore: brand loyalty is most strongly influenced by customer experience.

Companies need to make every point of customer contact a positive one that reinforces an excellent brand image. In the age of rapid info transfer, one poor customer care experience can diminish the value of your company's brand exponentially (and quickly!) when a dissatisfied customer tells a friend through email, or posts a blog...and it gets passed around the globe in seconds.

Brand isn't dead. It's just that most traditional advertising agencies aren't equipped to deal with brand marketing in the 21st century.
Brent P. Newhall - 10/27/2004 10:42:12 AM
I don't want to seem snarky here, but I've never found Wired to be a particularly accurate predictor of the future.
kurt - 10/27/2004 2:10:49 AM
Tom mentions that both the 'retiring' boomers and women in general as 2 huge and underserved markets. they ain't brands.

Brand is nothin' if it doesn't provide value 'for the customer' not for the seller.

focus on giving superlative service, consideration, thoughful proactive support and watch what happens. companies overfocused too often on their own bottom line, and underfocused on their customer's.

offshoring, licensing and tax havens in the bahamas or europe or southeast asia, executive excesses, pay packages, do little for the 'customer constituency'.. and really only serve corp exe(cess) and a few large portfolio share holders. the rest of the market sits with a rather unpleasant aftertaste.

these tangibles don't measure up to customer intangible 'good will' and never will...

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