The Drum
Smug brands

Household Brand Strategy Director Geoff Wilson explains why we should resist the rise of the Smug Brand.


In his latest thought piece, Household Brand Strategy Director Geoff Wilson introduces a new breed of brand, the ‘Smug Brand’. These brands claim they will ‘save us and the world, release our inner mojos and be our soul buddies.’
Brands with overexagerated claims are nothing new, but as Geoff argues, Smug Brands are much more troubling than the general dishonesty that we have become accustomed to from brands: ‘The insidious presence of lazy marketing and branding has crept in and the quest for short-term gain has supplanted long-term thinking that reflects a true principle or purpose.’
Nevertheless, as the notorious Pepsi/Kendall Jenner advert evidences, power has shifted from marketing heavy brands to the public, and people are ready to call out brands for their ‘extraordinary pomposity.’
In this context, brands that offer products with real purpose, don’t exploit their customers and don’t take themselves too seriously are going stand apart as shining beacons. As Geoff concludes, ‘we are just people talking to people, so we should create brands that talk like people talk and make things that people will like – without manipulation.’
Read the full article here.

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