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November 18, 2004

News & Opinion: The Decline of Brands

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 9:04 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales

Check out James Surowieckis article in the November issue of Wired called, The Decline of Brands. Since 1991, the number of brands on US grocery store shelves has tripled. Last year the US Patent and Trademark Office issued an incredible 140,000 trademarks 100,000 more than in 1983. The average American sees 60 percent more ad messages per day than when the first President Bush left office. I especially liked Surowieckis conclusion, The aristocracy of brand is dead. Long live the meritocracy of product. In Beyond the Brand, I call the phenomenon he discusses the development of a Brand Immune System in todays consumers.
Branding has been appropriated as a distorted form of communication in which the company always assumes the position of power and is not necessarily required to either listen or respond to feedback. People are expected to sit quietly and listen; many react to this by tuning out much of what is said. Thus, they are developing a Brand Immune System: the reality is that people will only pay attention to your brand or your product when they actually need or want your product or service not before, and usually not after.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.