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  1. will novosedlik
    Twitter: novosedlik
    May 06 - 11:48 am

    Good piece. As brand professionals, we take these things for granted but forget that our clients don’t.

    What’s most interesting about this list is how much of it could be mistaken for business strategy. I’ve recently seen articles about this and feel it’s a good sign. Although it may confuse some clients, it’s instructive for them to see the overlap so that they understand the strategic significance of branding.

    I love what you say about actions speaking louder than words, but would like to have seen that played out more emphatically under the heading of ‘brand experience’ – or customer experience. That, along with the socially-empowered customer, have now become the top priorities of brand owners. Or at least they should be. The old model has never been more broken. Long live the new one!

  2. markdisomma
    Twitter: markdisomma
    May 07 - 3:42 am

    Will – thanks for your thoughts. I don’t think there is a mistake in thinking much of this list intersects with business strategy. In fact, I would say that the strategy of a brand is the strategy for a business. The key decision revolves around the extent of change that a brand is prepared to put itself through in order to remain competitive. Brand evolution is about how a brand competes, looks, behaves and tells its story, but once the decision is taken to transform the brand, that change extends all the way to the business’s underlying philosophy. As Jean-Marie Dru once observed, “Disruption is a powerful tool. It can reignite the ingenious and entrepreneurial soul”. Of course, the very thought of it can paralyse a less confident management team into doing too little and/or too late. Worse still, they can allow themselves to believe they have transformed their brand (and future-proofed it) when in fact they have evolved it.

  3. Richard Henderson
    May 12 - 3:43 am

    Mark, thank you for the executive summary. Its always very informative to read others thoughts on brand and its value to business. The challenge is to apply the good strategic thinking in your article to a project, with a client that is able to understand that brand thinking and brand design are great business empowerment.
    I read a fantastic statement by Mickey Drexler of JCrew in Fast Company which sums it up for me ” What has a company done in the past 5 years that somebody’s noticed “

  4. Mark Donington
    Twitter: higher_ground
    May 15 - 12:46 am

    Great article! Evolution vs transformation is an issue that constantly springs up for brands. As you’ve quite rightly highlighted, there are a number of different factors that decide which route is best. Often, it’s down to the internal decision makers and whether they’re brave enough to challenge the current status quo.

  5. MarketingGal
    May 19 - 9:27 am

    This reminds me of the change Coke tried to make years ago, just to have it flop. They come up with the new Coke and really hit the fan with it. I understand their desire to change and try to improve on their product, but when you have something as old school as Coca Cola, its just not the best idea. Coke learned that quickly and went right back to Coke Classic. I don’t think the change worked out as well as they had envisioned.

  6. markdisomma
    Twitter: markdisomma
    May 21 - 3:12 am

    Thank you Richard, Mark and MarketingGal for your comments. Richard, the Mickey Drexler question is a fantastic one isn’t it, because a brand that goes unnoticed is a brand in decline. Mark – I absolutely agree that internal bravery is the hardest thing to muster and the greatest need for progress. MarketingGal, the Coke/New Coke is a timely reminder that change for change’s sake is no guarantee of success – which is why it’s so important to make informed decisions about how far to extend change in order to remain competitive.

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