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Strategies for a discontinuous future.












Sunday, October 19, 2003
 


Branding Day, Pt 7

Virginia Postrel has a new theory: aesthetics will create a value shift in the next few decades (sub required).

She's almost right, but not quite. Marketing needs to move beyond branding because brands fail to create real meaning: they create the simulation of meaning. That's why so many people think brands are lies - because, beyond the surface, there's nothing there.

Aesthetics, I fear, will do the same - create style, but no substance. McDonald's can offer Premium Salads, and charge a buck more for now, because arugula is trendy.

But what happens in a few years, when arugula (and aesthetics) are played out? What happens when all the value's been arbitraged out of aesthetics (like Target's doing)? Is 'aesthetics' ultimately just another deification of the hyperconsumption fetish MTV calls bling-bling? I think it might be.

Marketers need to realize that they fulfill a hugely important social function in a post-industrial world: they attach meanings to the things which firms produce. It's time for them to start doing it.

If you have a sub to strat+business, you can check out this article to find out why the marketing world is screwed up - they've become...beancounters!!

-- umair // 5:14 AM //


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