The concept of branding has suffered many bad raps in the past few decades. For certain consumer industries, there’s a perception that buying a product just for its brand equates to getting ripped off. Indeed if the product and the service don’t live up to expectations, the “shelf-life” of a brand is short-lived. Your Prada ends up in Filene’s basement!
I think the management of branding in product design will be increasingly important in the coming year. The impact of customer-centrered design is a major factor. Predictions? Branding will no longer be solely owned by a marketing department. The brand will reflect more than technology, and come to represent quantifiable value propositions. Branding will be core to the entire product lifecycle.
In a recent article, the Brand Management Journal foresees an evolution in the role of branding:
1. The focus in branding is shifting from creating compelling promises to fulfilling those promises in a meaningful and authentic way.
2. The ownership of the brand is shifting from marketing to the entire organization. It is even being shared by stakeholders outside the organization.
3. The place of the brand in business processes is shifting from the end to the beginning, especially in the processes that deal with innovation and creation of offerings.
4. The content of the brand is shifting from stressing organizational strengths to framing a vision of the relationship the organization aspires to have with its stakeholders.