The 10 year challenge: Branding in 2009 and 2019


The meaning of the word “Brand” has evolved a great deal over time. The term initially referred to the practice of burning a mark onto something to designate ownership. Since then, branding evolved into the selling tool instead of the product. By strengthening the psychological bond with the brand, companies were able to successfully ensure that customers would pick a particular brand over the myriad of competing brands in the market. Moreover, businesses saw that as new products were introduced under that brand name, the consumer felt emotional loyalty, trust, and brand confidence to try the new product. With the all-new 10-year challenge that has stormed the internet, let’s see what has changed in the Branding and Advertising world from 2009 to 2019.

Branding in 2009: The evolution of Personal Branding

The concept of personal branding has been around for more than a decade, but the Internet and social networking have made it easier than ever to sell brand “you” by 2009. Personal Branding came into the limelight stating to promote yourself as having specific values, skills or expertise — your brand — so that if someone needs that expertise, they’ll come to you first. While many people were still uncomfortable with the idea of marketing themselves as a commodity, others saw it as part of the changing world of work. 2009 was the age when corporate businesses stopped caring about the brand just as a logo and brand identity became the conventional way a brand markets itself to the target audience. The internet and blogging become the primary sources to reach out to the target audience.   

One of the cornerstones of nation branding and one of the most relevant tools to measure the nature and power of a nation’s brand, The Nation Brand Index was released in Oct  2009. India, with differing degrees of sophistication, advancement, growth, and education across the country, managed to grab the 27th position. While campaigns like “India Shining,” which unfortunately backfired, and “Incredible India” have been expensive affairs, whether they have been able to convince the people, both inside and outside the country, of India’s prowess and potential, was doubtful.

Branding now meant more than coming up with a cute catchphrase and a nifty logo. Consumers wanted a sense that they’re connecting with something made by someone real, even if that “someone” is a large corporation.

Branding in 2019: How Crowd Culture shaped branding

In this era of Facebook and YouTube, brand building has become a vexing challenge. Wherein 2009, most companies were heralding the arrival of a new golden age of branding. They hired creative agencies and armies of technologists to insert brands throughout the digital universe. Viral, buzz, memes, stickiness, and form factor became the lingua franca of branding. But despite all the hoopla, such efforts have had a minimal payoff.

Though brands made huge bets on branded content, only a few brands managed to generate significant customer interest online. Social media seems to have made brands less significant. What has gone wrong?

Crowd Culture has shaped the future of branding in 2019-which techniques work and which do not.

Crowd Culture not only reminded us that brands succeed when they break through in culture, it now, serves as a very productive and prolific innovator in branding.

A decade in, companies are still struggling to come up with a branding model that works in the chaotic world of social media. The big platforms—the Facebooks and YouTubes and Instagrams—seem to call the shots, while the vast majority of brands are cultural mutes, despite investing billions. Crowdculture is now the real locus of branding, and Digital power and companies need to shift their focus away from the platforms themselves towards it.

At Strawberry Branding, our purpose is to help companies tell their brand story and bring a real identity to the brand, rather than just placing a name on a box. We narrate an authentic, engaging story will help you achieve your brand goals.

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Every brand has stories to tell—stories that will not only engage, inform, surprise, delight, and impact their audience, but that will also deliver on measurable business goals. And I’m a conduit between brand and consumer.

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