Another turning point for brands?

Stephen King
Research and Development Director, J. Walter Thompson

Stephen King's analyses of the nature and role of the brand have for many years been received wisdom. But the current apparent slowing-down of brand advertising expenditure (which he attributes largely to inflation in media rates) leads him to wonder if this now signals our arrival at a major turning point – which he would regard as a particularly dangerous corner. To cope with the four main pressures on the brand today – social change, retailer power, new technology and global marketing – it will be necessary, he argues, for companies to pay more attention to strategic planning, to the development of the company as a brand, and to restructuring the highest levels of company management, as well as to arrive at a better understanding of just what global marketing means.