Let's Kill All The Branding Experts.
You will have noticed that I tend not to use the B word in this blog. I laboriously write "products/services" for a good reason and was delighted to hear Russell Davies on a panel at the PSFK conference declare that "most things aren't brands."
Hugh MacLeod who was also at PSFK picked up on the bankruptcy of the concept in an excellent post entitled The Cult Of The Brand RIP. I agree with both of them, but have an uneasy feeling that marketing as a whole will bear the brunt of the much overdue backlash.
Product line extensions are fine by me, but their promiscuous expansion in the 80s and 90s and beyond (as George E Parker reminded us, 80% of product launches fail) was less to do with marketing hubris and much more to do with the villain of the piece that I identified some time ago.
Branding, on the other hand, emerged into broader business parlance as a result of the eighties’ obsession with putting intangible assets like brand equity onto the balance sheet for the purposes of financial engineering
The branding myth has always been that it had something to do with real marketing. It didn't and that's why it's belatedly imploding.
UPDATE: A case in point. It's not a brand, it's a logo!