New Research: American Brands Still Strong Overseas
"Instead," says Malcolm Baker, global director, Research International Qualitative, "brands are seen as essential beacons that help consumers navigate the modern world. Because of this and the process by which they are enhanced by consumers' own imaginations, they are nurtured and protected. Our study revealed that consumers have become so good at creating personal, idealized images of their favorite brands that negative issues are largely put aside or forgotten."
Baker also says RIQ has identified a new “Third Wave” of branding. In this wave, brands are driven by a need for reconnection with local roots and a form authenticity that seeks to deny marketing construction. Here the consumer wants to find the brand and not the other way around.
Examples of wave three branding can be found across the world from global brands such as Carhartt, Gola and Quicksilver, to more local brands, such as ACNE JEANS from Sweden. Many leading brands including Nike, Sony, Nokia and Swatch have been quick to spot this new trend. They connect with consumers on a more personal level through customizable, limited editions.
"We live in a fluid, time-stressed world. Successful marketers will be those who strike the right balance between global reach and local feel, between individualized identity and membership of a global tribe," Baker adds. "What is clear, however, is not only the extent to which consumers feel they need brands as a central part of their everyday lives, but also the lengths they will go to protect brands in whose identity they have made such a strong personal investment."