Ep10: Branding 2020

Branding is at the core of breaking through the white noise of today’s media environment and moving shoppers to buy. Modern brand positioning first came into vogue in the 1970’s and has hardly changed in the 40-plus years since then. While the approach to branding hasn’t changed, the media landscape has exploded with ever expanding channel options, more robust targeting, and all leading to the tsunami of ads the pummel consumers daily. So, is the 1970’s approach still effective today or do we need to rethink how we emotionally connect brands with people?

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This evolution and effectiveness of branding is the topic of my latest podcast. I reflect on the media environment at the dawn of brand positioning in the 1970s and look at how branding launched some campaigns still running today. As I fast forward to today, I find the classic branding approach works for some products but fails with many complex brands that have multiple customer desires. Instead of creating emotional connections, these brands’ ads tend to be product-centric as oppose to desire-centric (failing to make an emotional connection). I will discuss some concerns I have with how agencies approach branding and conclude the podcast with my perspective on branding for today’s media environment.

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