How Many Lives Does A Brand Have?
I found this article on Branding in the Fastcompany.com blog….
Recently, in Shanghai, a friend took me to one of the city’s most sophisticated luxury malls. She was excited to show me her recent discovery. “Check this brand out,” she said, pointing to a meticulously tailored Aquascutum trench coat. Its label said the brand was founded in 1851, but I had to confess, I’d never heard of it. “And, how cool are these?” she asked as she riffled through a rack of striped Kent & Curwen T-shirts. Kent & Curwen? I wasn’t sure what that was, but Kent & Curwen is another prestigious English brand founded in Surrey in 1926. Here in Shanghai, the capital of new brands, I fell in love with Gieves & Hawkes, another English brand dating back to… 1771!
The irony of the situation blew me away. After all, I’m a man who creates brands, and yet in this salubrious mall in Shanghai I was surrounded by a host of them that have been around for at least a century, and I’d never so much as heard of a single one of them.
I scribbled down the names down and immediately began to investigate.
Almost all these “classic” brands fell out of favor many years ago, often being reduced to a single retail outlet. Yet in a country like China, where heritage, authenticity, and many things European are highly desirable, their obscurity didn’t matter. The simple fact that they were all founded in Europe in another historical time was enough for the brand-obsessed citizens to dig deep into their wallets, and spend big.
But will the brand-obsessed Chinese continue to fall in love with anything and everything Western, or is this the beginning of a new brand paradigm shift, a serious turnaround?
Written By: Martin Lindstrom is a 2009 recipient of TIME Magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Influential People” and author of Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy (Doubleday, New York), a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best–seller. His latest book, Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy, was published last September. A frequent advisor to heads of numerous Fortune 100 companies, Lindstrom has also authored 5 best-sellers translated into 30 languages. More at martinlindstrom.com.