It must have been western entitlement that granted us our level of delusion with respect to the collective economy. It allowed us to believe there would be no tipping point at which exchanging our jobs for short-term profits would depose us as kings of the global consumer economy. All water under the bridge now. And so it is past time to re-examine our strategic marketing realities, and set aside a host of cultural conceits born of complacency and a history of privilege.
As the West watches its influence wane, what can we anticipate in a changing marketing landscape? We have already witnessed how China places no cultural premium on brand authenticity, and there are a gazillion Louis Vuitton facsimiles out there to reinforce that single cultural difference. As far as concerns the Chinese, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it doesn’t necessarily have to be licensed as one. What will this mean for identity (logos, taglines and even brands) as we understand them in the present context of western marketing methods? In the larger context, what has it meant for intellectual property in general, and for artists in every field of creative endeavour?
Global firms headquartered in the West are beginning to look at surrogate branding and other practices common in distant hemispheres with an eye to applying them here. Most believe that Brand will be manifest only in the consumer’s experience with a given product or service. A logical evolution, when one considers the participatory nature of new media. Ultimately, there is but one marketing absolute irrespective of message origin and delivery: whether sandwich board, brochure or blog, excellent content will rise above the white noise of the marketplace.