The New Kids on the Block

From soft drinks to fast cars, there is an interesting new trend in mature consumer markets to prefer “clean slate” brands, or new brands that don’t have any heritage behind them. This article details a range of reasons for emerging consumer preference for new brands, including falling trust in big business and increased transparency of the business practices of smaller names. The article includes some good advice for the larger, established brands to keep abreast of this trend, including ideas like:

  • Learn from the excitement of CLEAN SLATE BRANDS and seize the opportunity to do things differently. Think new products (such as Nike’s revolutionary super-sustainable Flyknit running shoe), or even whole new business ventures (such as Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom’s M-Shwari savings service).
  • Reduce complexity: Take a leaf from BMW’s ‘We Only Make One Thing. The Ultimate Driving Machine.’ campaign, or pare back bloated product portfolios and company structures. Bring clarity and speed to internal decision-making, and watch as consumers find it easier to understand everything about your brand.
  • Bake in responsibility: Witness how even established brands such as Patagonia attempt to keep their slate clean with high-profile commitments to sustainability (such as the brand’s Footprint Chronicles initiative).
  • Speak with an authentic voice and have something interesting to say, and big brands too will connect meaningfully with consumers. Witness Whole Foods’ wholesome, helpful Twitter account, now followed by over 3 million people.