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Disruptive Branding

How to Win in Times of Change

By Jacob Benbunan, Gabor Schreier, Benjamin Knapp
12-minute read
Audio available
Disruptive Branding by Jacob Benbunan, Gabor Schreier, Benjamin Knapp

Disruptive Branding (2019) explores the importance and nature of branding in our disruptive, technology-driven world. Drawing on best-in-class examples and practical how-to-guides, it’s a clear blueprint for anyone who wants to utilize a strong brand to drive business results.

  • Business leaders who want to build an enduring and authentic brand 
  • Marketers looking for practical brand strategy tips

The authors are the CEO, Chief Creative Officer, and Chief Growth Officer of Saffron Brand Consultants. Saffron is a global brand consultancy founded in 2001 that has worked for clients including Siemens, YouTube, and Xing.

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Disruptive Branding

How to Win in Times of Change

By Jacob Benbunan, Gabor Schreier, Benjamin Knapp
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Disruptive Branding by Jacob Benbunan, Gabor Schreier, Benjamin Knapp
Synopsis

Disruptive Branding (2019) explores the importance and nature of branding in our disruptive, technology-driven world. Drawing on best-in-class examples and practical how-to-guides, it’s a clear blueprint for anyone who wants to utilize a strong brand to drive business results.

Key idea 1 of 7

Brands need to understand the disruptive forces changing the world.

Did you know that there are more SIM cards on the planet than people? As of 2017, there were 7.8 billion, to be precise. 

Technology is changing the world; it’s changing where we shop, when we learn, and how we find love. Our world is getting smaller, faster, and better connected. It’s being disrupted. 

The key message in this blink is: Brands need to understand the disruptive forces changing the world.

Today, many brands have to be both global and local. 

Take McDonald’s. It’s always been a showcase for the benefits of standardization and a tightly controlled system – that’s what first made it a success in the United States. But its true global success only came when it embraced local variation. Or, to put it another way, success came when it embraced not just globalization, but also localization.

Today, in Chile, the avocado purée that McDonald’s offers is a more popular condiment for fries than ketchup. Stroll under the Golden Arches in India, and you won’t find a Big Mac, but a vegetarian Maharaja burger. It’s easier than ever for brands to expand across the whole globe, but the truly successful ones embrace localization as well as globalization.

A second key trend is the changing habits of consumers. In the past, if a consumer wanted to give feedback or to express dissatisfaction about a product, they’d need to write or call HQ. Today, social networks allow consumers to interact with brands in a far more immediate and impactful way.

An early example came in 2010, when the US clothing chain GAP tried to change its logo. For decades, the logo had been white lettering on a blue square, with a classic feel. In 2010, the business tried to offer a more snappy, modern looking logo. But consumers mourned the loss of the old version. A backlash built, with customers taking to Facebook and Twitter to express their disappointment, and even anger. A week later, Gap’s brand team released a statement, saying that they would revert back to their classic logo. Gap customers weren’t just buying hoodies, but actively shaping the brand.

A final disruptive trend is the increased merging of the digital and the physical. 

People used to think that the internet would kill off physical shops. The reality is more nuanced. Window-shopping, for instance, has become digitized. Research by Deloitte found that people’s digital interactions influenced 56 cents in every dollar spent in physical shops. Nowadays, we research products and prices online before heading to a store to buy them, perhaps having checked online whether a specific store has a certain pair of shoes in stock.

Brands today face rapid changes that are completely altering the way that consumers engage with them. Brands can’t simply ignore these changes, but must adapt to them.

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