If your branding isn’t agile enough for the Millennial generations and beyond, it won’t survive to make a profit. “Free Range Brands”, written by a Fortune 500 digital strategist who has seen it all, is an energetic and bold call to action for those brands who are stuck holding onto the rules of an old-fashioned branding in a brand-crowded and business-disrupting world.
Free Range Brands: Join the New Breed of Agile Brands by branding expert Nicole Ertas, is an exploration of the newly-disrupted world of branding. In this world, brands can’t depend on large budgets or media control to reach their prospective customers. Brands have to be innovative, agile and engaging in order to survive. Ertas’ book helps entrepreneurs understand the principles governing this new reality facing marketers and refine their brands so they can survive the age of Millennials and whatever technology is coming our way.
What is Free Range Brands About?
“This isn’t a digital revolution. This is total brand anarchy.”
– Free Range Brands
Ertas starts her book by contrasting the branding of the past (called “dynasty brands” in the book) with the new kind of branding (called “free range” brands) required for today’s marketing. Dynasty brands thrived on the nature of control and scale. Businesses focused on creating a strong brand with large budgets that guaranteed their message on the marketing channels of their choice. Brands innovated at a snail’s pace and only enough to keep customers happy without losing a lot of money. As a result, smaller brands could not effectively compete and the bigger brands kept on dominating the market share.
Enter the Millennial generation, the internet and social media.
In this new branding environment, the rules that used to guide branding are no longer relevant. Situations are reversed. Legacy brands used to maintain external control of the marketing message. That power is now shared in a two-way relationship with the world. Internally, businesses that use to plan their branding campaigns by the year or month are shortening that time into weeks to avoid getting left behind. Well-established brands with large budgets are facing disruption from small-budget innovators.
Free Range Brands explores how branding reached this point. In particular, it places a spotlight on the shift in values and technology that disrupted everything. Unlike previous generations, Millennials (and those generations that came after) no longer tolerate artificial and one-dimensional branding. Millennials want a two-way conversation with a brand that is transparent, authentic and engaging. They want brands that are as “free” as they aspire to be.
Ertas is a speaker, consultant, and branding strategist who has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands including Johnson & Johnson and General Mills. She is the founder and CEO of Free Range Brands, a global consultancy agency.
What Was Best About Free Range Brands?
Free Range Brands is visually and conceptually engaging, which serves as the perfect embodiment of what Ertas stands for in this book. Her message in Free Range Brands is delivered with a set of specific observation that reflect a deeper understanding of what drives Millennials and how this understanding can be leveraged for branding in the future. For any reader who is trying to answer the “How do I market to Millennials?” question, this book serves as a great starting point.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
At a little over 100 pages, Free Range Brands is a brief look at branding in the age of the Millennial generation and beyond. Free Range Brands spends the majority of those pages exploring and contrasting the old-school approach to branding with the new “free range” approach. Here some attention to strategy might be helpful for those who grasp the book’s central message but need directions for their next step.
Why Read Free Range Brands?
Free Range Brands is very similar in style and look to books by author Seth Godin (author of books like “All Marketers Are Liars”), although her book focuses exclusively on branding. Both Ertas and Godin urge readers to break away from static thinking into a dynamic one. The book will probably best serve business leaders and staff working in the marketing field. Free Range Brands offers a specific and clear perspective for businesses that might be confused about the barrage of marketing advice that is currently out there.
I think this is true even for other brands as well. Not just free range.