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Branding and crowdsourcing

Branding and crowdsourcing

While it is true that brands do generate their power from customers and should thus be understood as user-generated or even crowdsourced, one should never confuse this fact with brand management. Brand management is a process in which a brand owner steers his brand in such a way that it generates as much power as possible from users.

Branding as crowdsourcing

Yes. Brands are memetic entities that evolve only through co-evolution. While the user uses (memetically) a brand, both the user and the brand change, they coevolve. That is why it is widely accepted that brands are only potentials available for users and that specific user experience only transforms such potentiality into something valuable. So, the final brand value is crowdsourced as much as Wikipedia is crowdsourced. But with a significant difference:

Branding as a top-down activity

While brands are crowdsourced, as stated above, one should never forget that brands are induced, developed, and put on the market thanks to the internal powers of the organization or individual behind them. Even when brands are developed within larger organizations that demand the involvement of a wider team of internal stakeholders in the branding process, it still holds that this is, or at least should be, a top-down activity. Brands without an initiator that holds major credits and risks attached to branding endeavors do not come into existence. As simple as that.

Dual nature

Brands are thus dual in nature. On one side, it is a result of a core internal function that can, as such, never be outsourced. Still, on the other hand, it depends on customer involvement that can bring life and meaning to create brand potential.

 

 

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