The age of utilizing authoritative branding is coming to a close. Customers, particularly Millennials, are more intelligent about how branding and marketing works and in many cases are displaying a general aversion to traditional branding tactics.
Thanks to the rise of tools like social media the customer's voice has never been louder. Therefore, there has been a power-shift in branding and marketing that has forced companies to take a more customer-centered approach to branding, marketing and product development. Listening, validating and testing has never been more important.
Recently, Wolff Olins developed an 'open source' brand called 'Dotdot' for the Zigbee Alliance and although they claim that it is the first (we beg to differ), it is truly appropriate and innovative.
*See our Hack Tennessee brand which utilized a word mark easily recreated by ANYONE with a keyboard using characters from various programming languages |-| / ( |<
The Dotdot example of 'open-source' and accessible branding is revolutionary and necessary for building meaningful connections with customers. Brands have traditionally been guarded with military-like protection, and the Dotdot approach gives ownership to the customer which increases the potential for sharing and spreading the brand.
Another tried and true method new brands must possess is to carry a mission that is truly philanthropic in nature. Brands represent some of the largest and most powerful entities in the world, and showing your customers that you stand for their values can create die hard brand loyalty.
So, stop insulting your customers' intelligence, and act now to design a living, breathing and sympathetic brand. It will trigger stronger sales and loyalty that will last decades from now.