Skip to content

After Brands…?

From Douglas Haddow:

The monolithic notion of a “brand” – an infinitely dependable symbol of prosperity, happiness, comfort and security – is over. For nearly a century brands acted as the definitive medium through which we experienced capitalism. A brand’s strength came from its ability to transmit a consistently identical static message. Brands gave our reality a strong foundation: symbols dotting our mental and physical landscapes that we could use to navigate our way through life. But then brands began to show their age. They started to rust, chip, degrade, fall apart. All of a sudden brands cease to be the impenetrable fortresses of consumer relations we thought they were, and anyone could start a brand and do whatever he wanted with it. Gen X created flexible brands that catered to subterranean audiences, prompting Gen Y to embrace the idea of the “personal brand” – individuality expressed through a marketable system of identifiable signifiers.

And so these slick little icons – towering planets that represented entire universes of product experience – were slowly deconstructed to a point of irrelevance. Our daily lives are now inundated by a torrent of dead images and meaningless symbols from a bygone era, leaving us with one very important question to answer: What’s next?


  1. amoslanka wrote:

    This notion that brands are over with seems to be jumping the gun. Far from the truth, because as many of us out there who would like the statement to be true, there is likely double those who either don’t want it that way or don’t think about it (which is effectively the same). His idea of more personal and exponential branding is not entirely false, but leaves out the still major players of consumerism. If we’ve forgotten or stopped noticing these, we’ve fallen into the latter of the two groups i mentioned above.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  2. adamsteward wrote:

    More tattoos.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 8:41 am | Permalink

Switch to our mobile site