Are we in a post-branding world?

Economic pressure has created a situation where marketers are asking for immediate results before they ask for perceived luxuries like brand recognition.

Clients are demanding metrics that connect marketing to sales. Metrics for things like brand recognition are tough to tie to concrete things like sales and thus to ROI.

They’re also pushing for media plans to focus on Web and direct because they provide concrete tracking data. While television, where branding has thrived is receiving less interest of late.

What does this mean for the practice of branding in the future? Well, I think in the short term it means less money spent taking chances on things like this Web video that offer no measurable call to action, direct tie to a product or product message. Heck, all it does is get consumers excited about a brand? Heck, it’s not like Nike built an empire doing that or anything.

Many in the digital sphere are calling for an end to the discipline of branding. They say branding was developed for mass-markets and we can now reach individuals behaviorally and target them with more relevant messages tailored to their individual behavioral profiles – demographics are now old school.

Some people may see behavioural targeting as very Minority Report but it usually means more relevant comunication for the consumer. And causes less stereotyping of the target audiance. And that’s good, right?

Well, until we start factoring scale. It makes sense for people with very large marketing budgets and for retailers with specific products for specific people. Amazon does a good job of this on me. But what if you have a limited budget  and market and can’t create individual messages because your audience isn’t Amazon-sized. In some cases, it means turning the focus back on the brand and the benefit it offers consumers as a whole.

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Posted on: June 25, 2010, by :