The courage to change is essential, as brands do not exist in a vacuum. On the contrary, they interact with people, reflect the social system and expressly represent a cultural service. Furthermore, they are full of life. Many facets of this life are changing at the moment. Society and the business world are looking wider, dialogue and participation are taking the place of monologue and hierarchy. Concepts like social responsibility and sustainability are challenging one-dimensional bottom line thinking. The philosopher Ervin László describes this as the renaissance of public spirit. The current discussion about the economy of sharing – cue access society – questions status and ownership as the measure of all things, confirming the need for a change of course.
Clearly, there is an undeniable return to traditional values. Trust, honesty and credibility are increasingly gaining in importance in these times of financial and existential crisis. For companies it is a matter of working out their own values and preparing them for their brand strategies.
A good brand strategy always starts with the diagnosis, followed by questions about the goal, sense and purpose from which the guidelines for the brand timeline derive. That applies as much to established brands as to brands under construction. The most important task always is to screen the portfolio, understand what is available, ascertain the intention and subsequently subject to critical questioning. For this purpose, sound common sense, many years of experience and a profound knowledge of brand techniques are my methods of choice.