August 09, 2003
BRANDS ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE REAL THING
David Boyle, an associate of the New Economics Foundation and the author of Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life, highlights the apparent backlash against the world's biggest brands in favour of local, more "authentic" brands.
He notes that for the second successive year, an Interbrand survey has shown that more than 40 of the top 75 world brands lost value during 2002.
Boyle suggests that the quest for "authenticity" is evidenced partly by the 12m Europeans who have "downshifted" by cutting their salary or hours as well as by "the rise of farmers' markets, real ale, reading groups, organic vegetables, poetry recitals, complementary medicine, unmixed music and unbranded vintage fashions . . . a growing demand for human-scale, face-to-face institutions."
He concludes that while we have been told that "the future is global and virtual . . . we have not grasped that there is an opposite trend emerging, which may be just as powerful and which values what is local and what is real." (FINANCIAL TIMES, p. 19;
online here )
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