Lisa-Bradner  [Posted by Lisa Bradner]

Adaptability is key
to any living organism.  As the
environment changes, those who adjust and find new ways to operate survive. Those
who cannot or choose not to change die out.

 Meaningful brands are
living organisms, shaped by the people who create the products and services
behind them, by the people who use them and create memories and associations
with them, and by the marketers and agencies who build stories and emotional
associations that resonate in people’s hearts and minds.

 The recent past has
been unkind to many venerable brands. Globalization, competition, the digital
revolution, and good old fashioned greed have challenged legendary brands from General
to Merrill
to, most recently (and saddest to the cooks among us) Gourmet
,  showing even the most
iconic brands aren’t safe from the sway of market forces.

With all this
change, one might think that the tools and approaches brand marketers use would
be changing too. Yet too many marketers still use old brand management models
built for a mass homogeneous media marketplace, not for an always on, multi-channel,
connected global world.   While these approaches
feel safe and comfortable they fail to give marketers the tools they need to
survive.  What should marketers do differently?  My new report, “Adaptive Brand Marketing
addresses this question and recommends a framework for helping brand marketing
organizations become more agile, responsive and flexible so that their brands
can thrive.  Additionally, Advertising Age has a lengthy write-up that focuses on one element of the report:  what Adaptive Brand Marketing means for the future of the brand manager. 

Adaptive Brand
Marketing is not just about social media. True, Coke has  3 million fans on Facebook and 800,000 people
are fans of Pop Tarts. The social revolution has given us insight into just how
much passion exists for the every day brands we use  Adaptive brand marketing is about harnessing the power of people inside and
outside the organization
backed by superior intelligence harnessed and
processed by top notch technology to create brands that are relevant and resonant
to the people they serve on a daily basis. No small task—but isn’t that what
makes marketing fun?

I welcome your
feedback on the report as well as your thoughts on adaptability.  What do you think are the top three things
brand marketers must do to adapt and thrive? 
How many of them are happening in your organization today? What
practices need to die out now? Let’s compare notes.

P.S. To hear industry practitioners discuss this and other topics related to Multi-Channel Consumer, join us in Chicago for Forrester’s Consumer Forum 2009 on October 27-28 and in London for Forrester’s Marketing Forum EMEA 2009 on November 17-18.