Names with ideas on…

I've argued here, there and everywhere, that brands are just ideas with names on. It's the economical packaging of the...

August 10, 2003

I’ve argued here, there and everywhere, that brands are just ideas with names on.

It’s the economical packaging of these great ideas that enables them to propagate so well.

‘God’. ‘Nike’. ‘Outsourcing’. ‘Coke’. ‘Communism’. ‘America’.

These were great first generation brands.

But that same elegant slipperiness from one brain to the next is also what makes these ideas so vulnerable in this new democratised generation. Because you can’t really get hold of them, you can’t change them or mould them. They are closed to their stakeholders. No bars holed. We just can’t make them relevant.

They are, by definition unsustainable brands. They cannot learn.

So what does ‘Beyond Branding’ imply for brands? That they invert!

Instead of being ideas with names on…you guessed it…they must become names with ideas on.

Spiky, engaging, uncomfortable, confrontational. BB superbrands will wear their knickers on the outside.

We are seeking nominations for some potential BB superbrands – brands with high learning opportunities?

IBM

Conservatism – no, seriously!

The Internet

Freedom

China

Adidas

Starbucks

The Co-op…

All that remains is for these brands to turn potential into reality…

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