Five Substantial Shifts in Branding That Might Be Revolutionary

From persuasion to platform, from positioning to purpose, from consistency to experimentation, from control to liberation and from ownership to ‘boundarylessness’ — these are the crucial shifts in branding theory spotted over the 20-year career by Robert Jones, head of new thinking at a brand and innovation firm Wolff Olins and visiting professor at UEA, published in the current issue of the Journal of Brand Management.


Straight to the Point

 1. From Persuasion to Platform

Brands of the new media age no longer try to seduce or persuade consumer, which has become too smart and well-informed.  All that the 21-century brands can do is to be really useful and serve as a platform. Think Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon.


2. From Positioning to Purpose

Unfortunately, Jack Trout’s 30-year-old ‘positioning’ mantra has become irretrievably irrelevant and old-fashioned.  Modern clients are less concerned about the positioning of their brand rather than a real sense of purpose which is behind their product or service.


3. From Consistency to Experimentation

Forget about consistency and focus more on how to achieve coherence with your brand. Branding has grown to something more varied, multi-faceted and complex. It’s not a one-voice song, it’s a polyphony; it’s not a slogan, but a story. Constantly experiment with your brand.


4. From Control to Liberation

Brand should not be perceived by the staff as a mandatory ideology or imposed mindset. Clients are likely to see their brands as starting points for one’s individual initiatives and innovation that create new value.


5. From Ownership to Boundarylessness

Social media make all the processes more collaborative and blur the boundaries. Thus, brands feel more relaxed about the ownership, trying to not divide but multiply organizations together.

The author’s conclusions summarised above can be read in a full article here during the next 7 days for free, or in the latest printed version of the Journal of Brand Management.