End of the Master Brand Strategy
Brandchannel announces that your Master Brand strategy is dead. Master Brands were so millennial anyway, long before Web 2.0 and UGC drove brand messaging up the wall with its po-mo Cluetrain messiness. As this notice issues from the famously inward-looking industry itself, we can assume the trend has been underway for some time. Here is the full paper (from Straightline).
For those who don’t work the consumer-facing side of marketing and design, the Master Brand concept was driven through the influence of giant marketing consultant Interbrand‘s strategy of establishing a mono-megalithic brand that subsumes other brands in a brand family relationship. Since corporate value accrues to the highest-level meaningful brand, the Master Brand presented a way to manage message, visual and corporate brand identity, brand creep – and it attempted to roll up consumer perception to the brand owner as much as possible. A proliferation of brands dilutes the corporate brand and reduces effectiveness, and increase choice complexity – so the Master Brand has its place.
Here’s a blurb:
Here’s where I really agree with their strategy and intent. They say: “However, to realize its operational and strategic potential, branding must evolve beyond its inaccessible jargon and artificial models to play a more dynamic, inclusive role that bridges connections between stakeholders and adequately represents management challenges and the cultural and motivational realities of the companies they serve.” This part sounds like a dialogic design problem space, and the paper goes on to show how they are encouraging a type of dialogue among various stakeholders, and not a consistent brand image.
I wonder if they have such a methodology for sufficiently engaging multiple, competing, disagreeing stakeholders to reach consensus on a common brand identity and plan? Something like our Dialogic SWOT Analysis?