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Connective Branding: Building Brand Equity in a Demanding World by Christine Vallaster, Claudia Fisher

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PROLOGUE

When studying the history of branding, there are two key themes that systematically emerge as the primary drivers of brand success:

  • Differentiation
  • Consistency

As product markets have evolved, so has the notion of what differentiation and consistency mean. Initially, when brands were still equated with logos, differentiation was mostly limited to identification of origin, and consistency meant consistent quality.

With the arrival of life-changing inventions, differentiation could be achieved through unique product features and their functional benefits, while consistency found a home more in the visual application – product design and visual corporate identity.

As genuine functional differences started to erode, differentiation shifted into communications, placing a new emphasis on advertising and creativity. In parallel, consistency came to mean a certain degree of uniformity in communications, across media and channels.

But what about today?

New forces have entered the branding environment; they necessitate fundamental changes and paradigm shifts:

  • The Internet has created a world where uncensored information spreads rapidly through social networks, shifting control from companies and established institutions towards the customer and employee.
  • An environment of eroding trust has emerged as one scandal is chasing the next in our global economy. Recent research found that nearly eight out of ten of the world's most admired companies in their respective industries lost ...

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