Only ‘chavs and children’ buy identikit branding

Charlie Mitchell-Heggs makes an eloquent plea for ‘sensory and subconscious’ brand communications (Letters, DW 11 August). However, the problem isn’t with brand communications at all.

Much of our industry is devoted to the creation of rich, complex, emotive and resonant brands. Unfortunately, most of the organisations that are so branded remain bland, generic, predictable and uninspiring – old ideas, copycat styling, cheap fabrication. More and more sectors now consist of the same kinds of offers, pitched to the same mass markets, at the same price points and supported by the same quality of service.

We may talk up ‘lifestyle’, but the reality is ‘churn’. And despite the ever-increasing amounts of time, effort and money that are pumped into branding, we can’t escape the truth that our parents were more brand loyal than us.

Until we can convince those who develop products

and services to exercise more courage and imagination, this situation can only get worse. The danger is that, with little to substantiate our ‘aspirational’ brands, they simply fuel growing cynicism about spin and hype.

Already it’s becoming obvious that it’s only ‘chavs and children’ who carry on buying into brand, being the least sophisticated groups of consumers. But then, if we had truly inspirational products and services, we might hardly need it at all.

James Souttar, Senior consultant, Precedent Communications, London EC2A

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