Brands In A Blur

Influx Insights ponders the nature of brand churn today.

Is the rapidly increasing pace of information forcing us to cycle through brands and media faster? It’s hard to say exactly, but there are a couple of research studies suggesting this might be the case.
First media consumption. has done some great research into the shrinking lifecycle of best selling books. In the 1960s, fewer than three novels reached No. 1 position on the New York Times Bestseller List in an average year; last year, 23 did.
The second study relates directly to brands and comes from Y&R’s Brand Asset Valuator research on the Australian market.
The study suggested that consumers are more prepared than before to accept a “great offering” regardless of the company behind it. Brand values such as prestige, authenticity and tradition, were in decline, but greater importance was being placed on brands offering openness and participation.

The big question, of course, is what can brand managers and their agency helpers do, if anything, to slow the pace of churn. The author of the post quoted above says brands must continually reinvent themselves to stay current. I hear that, but if brands are always busy reinventing themselves, how will they find time to be true to themselves? And how will anyone know what a brand stands for?

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. “brands must continually reinvent themselves”
    Is that oxymoronic to anyone else? With all the noise, the most important thing for established brands is to stay true. Brands don’t have to reinvent themselves, they just need to continually remind consumers of their value proposition; sometimes requiring fresh approaches. For example, I admire what GM’s been doing in the new media space (unfortunately, they have quite a bit of other baggage).
    Reinventing yourself is tantamount to starting from scratch and ultimately self-destructive. Anyone heard a peep from HP lately?

  2. Ken,
    Sorry, I wrote the oxymornic statement and it’s a shame you picked GM as an example. Jumping on a media trend will not save that company.
    Re-invention will, just look at what they are trying to do with Saturn. The original “value proposition” is no longer relevant, so they need something else. Look for Saturn to re-emerge as a “European” brand, very different from where it started.
    Re-invent is Apple moving into music when it was not its core competency, a radical move for a personal computer brand.
    By the way- HP is fighting its way back in the PC space with lots of new ideas and is taking share from Dell.