Brands are proliferating in the public space. Born from the commercial space, where they have developed with the advent of the consumer society, they are now reaching new sectors of society (culture, politics, digital). It seems that everything is or can potentially be transformed into a brand, and that without them, there is no salvation to "exist" in our contemporary society. The paroxysm of this movement would be personal branding , which transforms each individual participating in this game into a full-fledged character.
Paradoxically, we live in the country which invented the hypermarket, but also its corollary on the shelves, the “unbranded” private label product (private label). At the time of its creation, this last family of products denoted by its refusal to be called, featuring only its content, for example a package of flour on which is shown in capital letters "FLOUR".
A few decades later, the private label product is no longer spared by branding : some distributors have introduced several levels of private label within their ranges. Thus, at Leclerc, if you want sausage, you can choose the Saint Azay brand (co-signed "Marque Repère", the private label). But if you have a smaller budget, you can also decide to take the range below, Eco +. And if we favor the local, the brand "Our regions have talent" offers a higher origin and quality. All three are exclusive to Leclerc and manufactured according to the distributor's specifications.
The proliferation of in-store brands is a result of the hypersegmentation carried out by marketing professionals to increase the resale value of products and push for a suitable product for each niche (generator of larger margins).
This proliferation of brands has spread to the cultural field, in particular by going digital. One would have thought that without a physical product, on the digital market, the brand would disappear, deprived of its primary quality: characterizing something by guaranteeing its origin and its quality. Quite the opposite has happened: digital technology has opened up the pandora's box of cultural productions. Blogs, magazines, self-proclaimed media… By lowering the production cost of a platform's existence, the Internet has led to a proliferation of value propositions, replicating online the cornucopia that we had spent years creating in the hypermarket. With an additional quality: the hypermarket is bounded by the store space, when the Internet is a potentially infinite space, limited only byconstantly increasing storage and transport capacities .
In this ecosystem, the brand has established itself as a standard to survive in the face of these value propositions: in fact, content consumers (and their producers) have started looking for practical benchmarks to organize audiences and bring them together at same place.
The brand that won the day in this dense and constantly growing ecosystem is the one that proposed to organize everything and connect the right person with the right content: the hegemonic Google , at the height of practicality and readability. . After establishing itself as the most powerful brand in the digital ecosystem, it rose to the top of the Interbrand ranking , alongside Apple or Microsoft and ahead of Mercedes, Coca-Cola or McDonal's. Blending into the midst of these heritage brands whose operating methods it has rigorously copied.
However, it seems that behind this omnipotence of established brands, the reality is very different. Indeed, even if these brands have a global strike force, which allows them to appear in this ranking, those that consumers approve of in the field seem to be of a different nature. As proof of this, I take the success of alternative, local brands, which sometimes have logos that seem to have been drawn by hand by a neophyte, such as “La Ruche qui dit oui”. Or the success of platforms like Leboncoin, where the user experience is based on a minimalist approach to the concept of a brand: a logo, a site and the possibility of posting ads on anything and everything.
We would have almost gone from the era of industrialization to that of imperfection
In the food industry, the success of brands like Michel et Augustin, Les 2 vaches or Innocent seems to show that consumers are looking for brands that are smaller, on a human scale, less industrialized and a little imperfect (at least in appearance). In any case, brands that give them this impression, since behind the first two there is the Danone group, and behind the third the Coca-Cola group.
Each of these large groups seems to have seen the limits of a globalization of its assets and is looking for a balance between standardized franchises and small “nuggets” brands that communicate against the tide.
We would have almost gone from the era of industrialization to that of imperfection with, on another register, consumer services that are no longer experts but communities grouped around a passion, where the brand becomes more of a platform for exchange and meeting that a hegemonic brand distilling the right products and the good word. A “Vinted” brand that recycles other brands and makes them available to everyone, almost free of charge and giving you a role other than that of a simple consumer, and by making you earn money.
To conclude, we could turn around the original question of this article: the brands which will succeed tomorrow and which will know how to make a place for themselves in the lives of their customers / consumers / readers will they not be those who will go towards standardization, but who will will know how to stage the human bond behind their colorful facade?
In a society where the criterion of quality becomes less and less significant, the extra soul is what will make the difference
Of course, the question of quality, intrinsically linked to the existence of the mark, is a fundamental aspect which remains. But in a society where this criterion is becoming less and less significant, and where there is a plethora of offers (cultural proposals, food proposals, clothes, objects), the extra soul is what will make the difference. . Either by showing the men and women who are behind the brand, or by making the brand a vector of social bond and rapprochement within a given company.