No Logo takes a look at how the power of brands has grown since the 1980s, and how companies have emphasized their brand image rather than their actual products. No Logo shows how this strategy has affected employees in both the industrial and the non-developed world. No Logo also introduces the reader to the activists and campaigners who are leading the fight back against multinationals and their brands.
We spend our entire lives surrounded by brands. Our streets and public spaces are peppered with advertisements, our sporting events and heroes sponsored by brands, and even the clothes we wear are often covered by brand names and logos.
Brands are ubiquitous in our culture precisely because, to survive, they need to be constantly and aggressively advertised and marketed. They must constantly align themselves with changing demographics and new trends, such as the rise of alternative music in the early 1990s, otherwise customers become disinterested and the brands die. As one advertising executive stated, “Consumers are like roaches – you spray them and spray them and they get immune after a while.” Levi Strauss, once considered to be one of the coolest brands, failed to improve and update its image and marketing strategy and suffered an alarming slip in sales while its competitors moved forward.
Brands find themselves in this powerful yet precarious position because their success depends far more on the popularity and ‘coolness’ of their name than on their actual products.
Hence, to survive, a brand must be highly visible in every area of society. It has to connect to consumers in every sphere of life and on multiple levels, and it must continuously renew these connections. In schools and universities, for example, an increasing number of brands are not only sponsoring sports equipment, canteen spaces and the like; they are also getting involved in the curriculum itself. Brands sponsor research grants and even have their products appear as examples in exam questions.
Brands must continuously grow and regenerate, otherwise they will die.