Hot on the heels of Versace for H&M and Missoni for Target, Marni became the latest high-end fashion house to announce a collaboration with a low-end fashion retailer. In this case, H&M again. Take a look:
Just ten years ago, it would have been inconceivable that the most elite of elite brands would be willing to peddle their wares among the masses. The branding experts of the day would have decried the practice for fear of diluting their label's integrity and compromising its precious exclusivity. So what has changed?
For decades, the branding field focused solely on preservation and conservation. Today, the business of brand building feels more like fertilization. We sow the seeds of our brand — our products, our values, our promises — through a thousand different touchpoints. Naturally, we take aim at the most fertile ground (our most passionate consumers), but in certain cases we even engineer new seeds that can survive in different soil. Once these seeds take root, the soil itself fuels their continued growth. And on and on we sow.
This is just one example of how branding has changed in the last decade. And if you're reading this blog, chances are you're well aware of many others (if not, this article does a fantastic job explaining them). I'm not here to look back on what's already happened or happening. I'm here to challenge you to look forward. Which of today's most prevalent branding practices are destined for extinction? What tried and true branding principles will soon become anything but? And can you imagine what will come along to replace them?