How to navigate a brand backlash

Branding is interesting because it’s complex. It’s complex because everyone at any company, from the creative director down, will have an opinion about the company they work in. It’s complex because branding remembers the past, and imagines the future. It’s complex because it crosses product, service, experience and innovation.

The best people that I’ve worked with tend to be extraordinarily athletic right-left brain thinkers. But branding is complex because brands are global, and globally we as human beings are varied and different.  Speaking with Bruno Maag (of Dalton Maag), he highlighted some interesting statistics. Of the largest 20 cities around the world, only three are in North America and only one in Europe (Moscow, since you ask). This means the urban demographic of most brands are growing up in Shanghai, Karachi, Lagos. It means the average age of people living in cities isn’t the 45–49 that we see in Europe, it’s 25–29 in China and an astonishing 0–4 in India. 

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James Hurst is executive creative director at DesignStudio.