Robert Scoble disagrees with Doc and I that branding is dead.
I basically agree with everything Robert said in this article. Which makes me even more convinced that he’s wrong.
Still, the last bit was spot on:
So, why does blogging matter in the branding game?
One, watching blogs gives you an indication of what the greater society is doing and talking about (if you read enough of them and they are randomly enough selected — I’m not there yet, but I’m getting close).
Two, blogs can feed the conversation and amplify it. Look at all the talk about Audiovox cell phones in the past five days. Did you notice that AT&T is sold out? I did.
Three, blogs can reduce negatives. Is something bugging your customers? Well, they’ll yell about it and yell about it until you listen to them and start having a conversation. Chuq is right on this count. Microsoft has made a corporate decision to change its public face — I and the other more than 1,000 bloggers at Microsoft are stark evidence of that.
Good stuff, as usual, from my main man in Redmond.
He kindly points to Terry Heaton, who makes some very good points:
“Brand management” is an oxymoron, because it assumes a brand is determined from the top-down. It isn’t. In that sense, branding is not only dead; it was never alive.
Ah-ha! So we’re getting closer now.
What’s interesting to me as a “branding professional” is seeing this argument rage these last few days in the blogosphere. The same argument that has been raging with the pros for the last 10 years or so.
Saatchi’s, the famous ad agency, got so sick of the debate they decided to throw out the word “brand” altogether and replace it with something equally unsatisfying.
[AFTERTHOUGHT:] “Branding is Dead” i.e. improving one’s cartography skills does not improve the actual landscape etc.
[AFTERTHOUGHT: I wrote somewhere a long time ago (can’t find the link, sadly), that the purpose of advertising was not to sell the product, “but to express and articulate the entrepreneurial drive that informs the purpose and the idea of the product.” I believe the new post-brand (AAAAAAGH!!!! I HATE THAT TERM!!!!) buzzword is “purpose-idea”.