Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Sub brands rule
Acquired "sub" brands can often carry more heritage, authority and meaning than the parent brand, but are routinely deemed by those in charge to need to fit (as in disappear) into the larger corporate image, however drab and unimpressive. Often this is done out of sheer ignorance of what brands mean and the asset they represent, and often it is an act of political machismo, to reinforce the relative status of organisations (you're part of us now). And sometimes it is a result of a simplistic desire for consistency, as though that was of itself a good thing.
The brands that have fans, however, are rarely the engulfing conglomerate but more usually the smaller entity. [I do know there are exceptions here.] My theory is that this is because in smaller organisations the brand and the vision are nearer the coalface, more likely to have real meaning, more likely to be directly connected to what staff do and customers get. It's straight brand, without the mixer. The bigger the entity, and the more components parts the brand has to embrace, the less focussed it can be, and the more it is likely to tend to the brand-as-label rather than brand-as-essence.
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