Rita Clifton on branding

Rita Clifton

NEW BRANDS WITH OLD TRICKS

Clearly, it has been a strange old year all round, on just about every level. And, as ever, most of humanity's hopes, fears and quirks show up in the brand world.

People's need for comfort, atonement, connection and hope are reflected in the rise of comfort foods, 'back to basics' attitudes to money and value, a new intensity of social networking and new expectations on sustainability.

And how about this in the past year? Starbucks launches instant coffee; Tesco, a well known grocer, starts a (real) bank; KFC starts grilling chickens; Twitter enables a revolution; US sales of compact cars rise 33%; Nestlé is one of the highest rising brands; and Disney's plans to open a Disneyland in Shanghai get approved. A mad, mad world indeed.