June 23, 2007

Future of Brand and Branding

Posted by Bizaholic | 11:02 PM | , with 4 comments »

It's fashionable these days to tell the whole world that brand and branding are going to be dead soon! From academicians to retail managers to activists, all are busy writing epitaph for brand and branding. Well, I don't think that a day will ever come in future when brand and branding become irrelevant. Brand and branding are, perhaps, universal things that have been there since time immemorial (think about Picasso signing his painting, shepherds marking their livestock, and in ancient time potters putting special mark to identify the creator). It is equally certain that brand and branding will remain relevant as long as civilization exists on this planet. The reason is simple: Brand is something intrinsically connected with identity, and identity is something that will always remain relevant as long as there are human beings!

The question whether brand will be relevant or not is not important for the simple reason that probability of brand becoming extinct is too remote. The intelligent question to ask is how brand and branding will evolve in future and what challenges marketers will face.

Suppose you are one eligible guy looking for your life partner. There are 10 gorgeous girls willing to marry you. All are equally qualified as per your expectations. All are breathtakingly beautiful. All can talk well. All can say hello to you with a perfect smile. All are charming. Now young man, whom will you marry under the constraints of Indian Law which allows you to have only one wife. In all likelihood you will scratch your head and curse Indian Law regarding marriage! But since your mom is watching you with stern eyes, you know you have to decide fast.

So you start talking to them individually and carefully observe subtle details that convey a lot of things about personality. The way she smiles, the way she laughs at your silly jokes, the way her eyes twinkle when you say something, the way she blushes, the way she responds to your questions, the way she interrupts you, the way she giggles, the way she shows care and affection for you, the way she tests you, and the list can go on. There can be 'n' different clues to read based on which you can take a decision and decide the girl with whom you want to grow old.

Branding in future will be no different. A large number of products will have equal physical characteristics. They will have equal quality. They will have equal properties. They will all satisfy basic needs equally well. They will all have equally appealing external communication. In short, extreme commoditization will become a norm. Yet, a few of them will stand out and entice customers to start a relationship with them; not because of their physical or intellectual beauty but because of their subtle interaction with the customers that give enough cues to them to think that it is one brand they want to grow old with.

The key to branding in future will be multi-dimensional interaction with the customers at every possible touch points in customer's life. Branding will have to evolve into a combination of logical, emotional, and experiential curry that not only tastes exotic and out-of-this-world but is realistic and healthy too. Branding in future will be all about simultaneously activating the head, heart, and all the senses of the customers. And that's the challenge marketers will face in future.


  1. Manoj // June 25, 2007 at 1:06 PM  

    Hi Mayank,
    I am not sure if it is 100% relevant with ur article, but there is one recent example of "Useless-ness" of Branding (Not Brand).. That is UP election :).... All the parties except BSP used all kind of promotion and branding (Using media, famous personalities,) but at the end, it was BSP which came into the power. Yes, there was a Brand (i.e. Mayawati) but no "Branding" was done. (Atleast through Media).
    What do you say :) ???


  2. Mayank Krishna // June 28, 2007 at 11:47 PM  

    Hi Manoj

    Advertising, media, and promotions are just part of branding. There are other elements of successful branding. In this particular case, I suspect, word-of-mouth, charishma of leader, performance of government, caste equations and a lot more played an important role in deciding who the winner was.

    One more thing you must always remember is: Nothing kills a bad product faster than great advertisement!!


  3. Sabu Mangalasserril // June 29, 2007 at 11:39 AM  

    hi mayank... seems like we travel in the same boat.... brands ...ads .... how i hope that the marketing world listens to sane voices a little more?

  4. Rajesh Kumar // July 18, 2007 at 4:17 PM  

    To say brands or branding will die in the near future is an overstatement. Can't disagree more. The brand variable may change in nature though..