‘Products are built in factories, brands are built in the mind.’
The early days of the third millennium will go down in history for many reasons, good and bad, inspiring and depressing. Digital technology, scientific advances on every front from medicine to nanotechnology, global warming and the rise in eco-consciousness, the Internet, the growing gulf between rich and poor nations, oil wars and acts of genocide, the power of multinational business and the growing awareness of the interconnectedness of everything from economies to weather systems. This is the era of the iPhone, catastrophe theory, Google, sub-prime mortgages, the carbon footprint, genetic medicine, cheap air travel, international terrorism, organic food, reality TV, instant celebrity. It has also been a stern test of the way in which companies run all aspects of their business, from people and innovation to their environmental and social policies. In this period of churning change, brands have also entered a new roller-coaster era.
As the commercial world revved up to cruising speed, brands played an increasingly important part in sustaining and leading business growth. A glance back over the recent past reveals that while some brands have burnt brightly but briefly, others have weathered the good and bad times to demonstrate a remarkable resilience in the face of changing tastes, fads and trends. ...