The Three Waves of Branding

Did you know that there are three waves of branding? It’s hard to know this was a thing before now, since now the term “branding” has become a buzzword and everyone has a “brand” thanks to Instagram… However, branding has been present since there are products and today we are going to introduce you to the three existing waves of branding.

The First Wave of Branding

This can be described as the most traditional type of branding, where names and and country of origin were the most important. Think about “scotch tape” for example, or “kleenex” these are actually brands and not the name of the object itself, nevertheless they became the most common name for it. The main focus was to endorse the physical qualities of the product, and to take as much market share as possible distinguishing itself from all other competitors.

The Second Wave of Branding

The main distinguishing feature is that now the brands are not only talking about product but also the user, creating a tribe associated with the product, and a close connection between buyer and product. In this case, the brands are concentrating on their target market, and not the market as a whole. The psychology behind marketing became much more important, and now brands were competing for space in the user’s mind. We can also thank rising technology such as television for this. The key takeaway is that the brands were looking to be differentiated to fulfill the same need, in a way creating a hierarchy of brands.

The Third Wave of Branding

Consumers have become way more sophisticated, information is available everywhere, and what matters is to create an identity attached to the brand, which is a way of indirectly connecting with the consumer at a personal level. Consumers feel they build these brands. The story of the brand becomes way more important and the user’s contribution to it now becomes a part of the narrative. With so much competition in a globalized economy, successful brands today need loyalty!

Do you want to become an expert in branding? Check out our Fashion and Lifestyle Brands and How to Create a Brand short courses.