Beyond No Logo
- 13 Sep
This post is co-authored with Jo Allen, Creative Director with The Marketing Eye.
Several years have passed since ‘No Logo’, Naomi Klein’s seminal backlash against multinational corporations. In her book, Klein uncovered a betrayal of the central promises of many of the world’s most revered brands: Bill Gates became a global whipping boy, Nike's swoosh was equated with sweatshop labour and McDonald's arches turned into a synonym for childhood obesity. Little wonder that these brands found themselves on the wrong end of a can of spray paint.
Since ‘No Logo’ we have seen some seismic shifts. The world’s most valuable brand, Coca Cola, recently acquired a stake in Innocent Drinks, in part, because of the positive light Innocent would reflect back onto the corporate brand. We have also seen Coca Cola focus on healthier drinks with the launch of Diet Coke Plus and Coke Zero.
We see a similar situation at McDonald’s, which has been addressing the healthy eating issues that have dogged it in the past. Starbucks too is looking at how it can realign its proposition with the needs of a more informed and discerning audience.
Business direction is now being moulded by brand strategies dictated by customer values not business values. The information age means there is no place to hide any actions, policies or values that run contrary to the core values of the consumer. Audiences are sophisticated and informed. They choose the brands they want a relationship with, not the other way round.
The important lesson in these case studies is that branding doesn’t have to mean greed and excess, nor, incidentally, does it have to have to be the exclusive domain of large corporations: it is only when we realise this that we can understand how important and positive it can be for a business.
Think of any well-known modern day brand and you will find an organisation behind it that has:
· A clear customer promise
· A well defined set of values
· An ‘all for one’ philosophy among the people who work there
· A strong employee proposition designed to attract and retain the best employees
· Consistent and well targeted communications that inspire
There is nothing morally wrong in any of this, on the contrary. If the honesty exists; if the values of the business are properly aligned to those of the consumer and lived and breathed at every level within the organisation, then we create powerful businesses that can be a force for good.
An unfortunate consequence of the global downturn is that businesses particularly smaller businesses - have become more inward looking. With the focus being on short-term cost-cutting and survival, ‘the brand’ as a concept is seen by many as too intangible and too esoteric to justify time and investment. How unfortunate and what a missed opportunity.
The truth is that building a brand doesn’t necessarily require significant investment: it needs vision, commitment and structure. A brand strategy, fully embraced from the start and consistently nurtured throughout its life, can be the difference between average performance and stellar success.
To achieve all this isn’t easy, but the prize for those that go for it is a significant one.
- 23 Jul
SharpSpring recently announced the launch of their Visual Workflow builder. The new feature intends to make the process for creating workflows easier and brings it in line with the likes of Pardot...
- 17 Jul
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Blink, argues that the lengthy procrastination that often takes place in decision-making is â€˜post self-justificationâ€™, because we actually make up our minds pretty...
- 23 Jun
A news article came out through the Bangkok Post (we found it through The Verge) last week about the arrest of three Chinese nationals. The trio had been paid over Â£10,000 a month to run a...
- 17 May
Financial services marketing agency, The Marketing Eye, has appointed Jason Dilworth to the new role of Technical Director in a move designed to expand and develop the companyâ€™s data-driven...
- 24 Apr
For an industry whose origins and continuing existence rely heavily on the accurate analysis of statistics, the insurance sector would do well to note the seismic shift taking place in modern...
- 19 Apr
Asking someone to buy your product or sign up to your service after only one mail-shot or email is unrealistic. We canâ€™t expect that one email, no matter how carefully crafted, will be enough to...
- 24 Mar
So, your business has splashed out on a big, beautiful high quality piece of video content, you are going to want to stretch it as far as it will go, right? Then donâ€™t do what everyone else does...
- 23 Feb
With around one-fifth of the worldâ€™s population on Facebook, you would think generating brand awareness and leads from it would be a piece of cake. The reality is less straight forward. With a...
- 14 Feb
Marketing automation systems are powerful, intelligent and the bedrock of many businesses' marketing strategies, but getting to learn and understand them takes time and dedication. Not becoming...
- 08 Feb
If you look for evidence of the potential benefits to B2B organisations of social media, you will see both lead generation, as well as brand reinforcement are being addressed to great advantage....