Branding and brand marketing has always been about finding customers for a product, a “build it and they will come” approach. But life, and the world has changed from just 20 years ago.

I remember the day I saw my first fax, an astonishing tool, but I have not used one in 10 years. At that time I worked for a large company, and the “Boss” got anxious if he could not walk down the corridor  and talk at (deliberate grammatical error there) anyone he wanted to, at any time, without the risk of anyone either contradicting him, or not doing as they were told.

Now.. That boss is as relevant as a dinosaur, the world of marketing is all about the individual,  “find a customer, and build what they want!” It is products for customers, and the tools of the last 20 years have made the middlemen of previous generations, that command and control boss I had, the advertising agencies, promotional consultants, creepy blokes from universities who you just knew could  never have sold a box of matches to a freezing man, irrelevant. The difference is the e-tools that have emerged over the last 20 years, transparency, and the flexibility and opportunity they bring is brings is king, although most institutions hate it, as they survive by hiding things.

When everyone can be a publisher of news, books, photos, ideas, the barrier to entry of needing a printing press is gone, all it takes is $600 for a computer and connection, and if you are really skint, go to the local public library and publish for free.

Morgan Spurlock has made his point in several independent films very differently, he now does it again, by selling naming rights to his TED talk, as he says, probably the only time it will happen. Worth a look.