Brand ecosystems

David Keefe
Landor Associates

Ecosystems is the latest buzzword. In the brand world, it refers to communications systems that connect, or deliver content, to consumers wherever and whenever they want it. David Keefe, of Landor Associates, outlines five imperatives to compete in the brand ecosystem.

Have you ever been to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)? It's a happening – an annual hi-tech pilgrimage dedicated to all things media, all things communications and, of course, all things electronics. Far more than a trade show, CES is a vital watering hole for multiple industries to showcase innovation, drink in new ideas and attempt to sort out the very complex, multi-platform media world that we live in today. And of course, it is a wellspring of many new buzzwords.

While at the 2013 show in January, I was especially struck by the frequency with which I encountered the latest buzzword in the technorati lexicon – 'ecosystem'. We all learned about ecosystems in school science class – usually associated with lakes, swamps or estuaries. It's a complex idea, especially under the surface – marked by intricate dependencies, predators, prey and, as one might expect from Mother Nature, a fair amount of chaos.