3 New Ideas on Brands for 2016

As 2016 dawns, it’s a good time to revisit the perennial head scratcher of the marketing world: brands. Are they overrated, over-thought examples of tepid consensus thinking? Or are they essential, pick-poorly-at-your-peril keys to marketing success?

We’ve reviewed some recent thinking on brands (and the pursuit of the perfect brand) for insights into the age-old debate.

Bowie’s brand—or lack thereof: As the world pays tribute to the legendary David Bowie, Cameron Crowe notes that the ever-changing rocker actually defied the common wisdom of today by eschewing a brand identity altogether. Instead, he shape shifted throughout his career, focusing on his next creative vision rather than a cohesive image or identity. It worked for the chameleon of rock, and Crowe says it’s a good reminder for other creative professionals not to get pigeonholed by their need to have an easily identifiable image. [Read more at Forbes]

The simpler, the better: What do some of the most successful tech brands in the industry have in common? According to this analysis from The Next Web, they all have clean, simple—and usually short—names. Companies from Box to Buffer to yes, even Facebook made deliberate decisions in terms of both name and company branding, favoring simple concepts that users remember over complicated or legacy-flavored naming. The analysis lays out some simple steps companies can use when thinking about everything from company names to URLs. [Read more at The Next Web]

One product, one focus: When a company only has one product, how can they effectively build a brand? That was the question facing bakery From Roy, whose sole baked good is Italian panettone, which the founder has carefully developed through a painstaking process. To highlight the fact that their single product is actually a benefit, not a hindrance, From Roy has been equally deliberate about their branding. This piece from Co.Design looks at the way the bakery has used careful naming, graphic design, and product marketing to set itself apart in a crowded field. [Read more at Co.Design]

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