Can Consumers Own the Brand?

Marie Lena Tupot
ScenarioDNA's Research Department, New York

Tim Stock
Young & Rubicam and K2 Digital

Exactly who is holding the reins on brands these days? Does it really matter? Or should branding be more about the way a campaign evolves, rather than from whom or where? With everyone talking about how much power the consumer wields, the advertising industry is in desperate need of embedded consumer insight.

Branding now requires a deeper process, yet the dilemma of unearthing consumer niches and their nuances calls for a major overhaul. It takes time to cultivate and invent the intangibles necessary to a brand's longevity. Keeping a brand cool and relevant means finding authentic sources of influence sooner than the influencers – like knowing biker culture is about to rock the world before Justin Timberlake is seen wearing a Von Dutch hat.