For the past 70 years, business branding has been largely guided by principles developed in the 1950s and 1960s — when there were only three television networks, messaging through advertising was easy to control, and information flowed from a few "trusted" news sources to millions of people.
This one-to-many model of information flow has been upended since the advent of the Internet and social media. Now, information flows in millions of different directions at once — to, from, and by people all over the globe — in an all-to-all free-for-all for eyeballs and market share. Some of the well-established rules of branding still apply in this new, hyper-connected environment. But that doesn't change the fact that building and differentiating a brand is harder than ever and will only prove even tougher in 2015.
In the coming year, the technological connectedness of everyone on Earth will reach a level never before experienced by humanity. The old rules don't apply in this world. New rules must be developed.
Owen Shapiro is the author of "Brand Shift: The Future of Brands and Marketing." Shapiro is a market researcher, strategist and speaker and spent more than 30 years in customer insights and market strategy. He has a career-long interest in helping launch innovative start-up companies, several of which have become well-known brands, including Staples, PetSmart, Sports Authority, Ulta and Five Below. For more information, please visit, www.brandshiftbook.com.
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