Lest we forget. Sometimes it is easy to pay lip-service to the importance of the brand and we may forget how truly fundamental it is. At its core is public interaction with ‘the organisation’. I have been following this phenomenon as displayed in the automobile arena – one where business, marketing and technology are leavened with more than a little irrational emotion.
The organisation takes an action, perhaps on pricing, styling, engineering or distribution, which moves the brand from position B1 to B2. The public experience the change and their perception move the brand interaction from P1 to P2. This affects the brand, for good or ill, and the organisation responds either actively or passively, and the brand moves from B2 to B3. The public experiences the reaction and again interacts… and so it goes.
Some of the shifts we have seen have been quite seismic. Powerful established brands such as GM or Ford have seen major brand movements – sometimes the result of economic forces, other times generating financial tremors. New players, old brands, sleepers – at root all doing the same thing, just making and selling cars. The fundamentals vary little – the impact upon the brands, and the brands’ impact upon the markets is what drives everything.