Evolution of branding

A recent email survey by Fast Company of 623 qualified subscribers (41% from the agency side and 59% from the client side) about the changing landscape of branding yielded some pretty interesting observations in the complete infographic below.  For example, look at the responses for the two questions on traditional channels and broad-based media.There should be no surprise that an overwhelming majority of respondents thought that the world was moving to a one-on-one conversation with customers using non-traditional channels.  However, it would have been interesting to see a measure of how strongly each group felt about their answer and from which side of the conversation they hailed.  Perhaps of more interest are the responses for the nine pie charts in the middle of the graphic.  Personally, I’m not sure that these are the concepts that I would have selected for the survey but I was surprised to see how many people completely rejected (i.e., a response of “doesn’t work”) versus voicing skepticism.  Are there really 5% of marketers out there who – in 2011 – believe that SEM/SEO doesn’t work?  Pardon the rant but who are these people and why are they still in marketing?  The same goes for analytic dashboards.  A long time ago I was taught a valuable lesson: “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”  While QR codes and branded apps are worthy of healthy skepticism due to the mixed results that have been observed in the marketplace, there is a mountain of empirical data that supports the superiority of analytically-focused marketing.  There is certainly a need for global brands to continue promoting their identities but I would assert that the future of branding is going to come down to how well a particular brand connects with me as a unique individual in a unique situation which can only happen through sophisticated, hyper-focused analytically-driven marketing.

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