The Future of Branding: American Marketing Association

I'm on a panel next Thursday morning at this AMA Toronto chapter event, speaking alongside some excellent fellow travellers on the topic of "How will brands survive in a new media environment?"

Full event details, here.

To quote from the AMA's event description:

The Future of Branding has never looked so uncertain.

With the introduction and advancement of new media at lightening (sic) speed, traditional brand management is reshaping itself through blogs, online social networking, mobile phones, print and TV. What does this mean for the future of branding and brand management?

I can think of LOTS I want to say on this topic, starting with David Carlick's excellent words:

“Your brand isn’t what you say; it’s what people say it is.”

Branding, to me, is something you receive, not something you achieve.

Companies spend a lot of money and effort to create and defend their brand. In truth, though, branding is what the market - in its infinite wisdom - does to a company.

Corporate reputation – the public perception of what a brand stands for – is a gift. It’s something the market will give to you in return for the way you behave, the quality of your products and services, the opinion we, the people, form about you.

Act like Enron, you’ll be branded like Enron. It was ever thus. The golden rule writ large. How does the new media change this? Well it simply amplifies our voices and accelerates our ability to brand you - particularly when you do something to get our feathers up.

That's only one thin slice through the stuff I want to say about this, but I'd better stop now or the AMA will berate me for premature oration.

The other panelists include:

- BBDO Advertising, Lynn Fletcher, EVP Chief Strategy Officer
- Strategy Magazine, Mary Maddever, VP & Editorial Director
- St. Joseph Content, Mark Zwicker, VP New Business Development

... moderated by the splendid Patricia McQuillan of Brand Matters. Should be a good one.