The Evolution of Branding

Written by Brittany Prats

Edited by Allison Herrera

You’ve heard us talk about it a million times, but today we’re coming at you from a different angle. We’ll give you a hint: this is what the younger generations care most about & it rhymes with landing…

Yep! You guessed it! We’re talking about branding (again). 

Listen, branding is literally the most important aspect of any campaign, company, or product. You can’t just jump straight into your marketing plan without your branding figured out to a tee. Regardless of what you may think, we’re actually not going to talk about how to figure out your branding. Nope. We know, you’re shocked. 

Today, we’re breaking down the evolution of branding & how it came to be what it is today.

As you might have guessed, advertising in the “Don Draper Days” was not about the brand. No one really cared about the company or what they stood for. They cared exclusively about the product, how well it worked/tasted, price, & even what it looked like. Now, obviously, in the beginning stages of advertising, the company still mattered – think Coca-Cola over Pepsi or Ford over Volks-Wagon. 

However, the actual branding of those companies and their values weren’t exactly a main selling point for consumers. Who a company was personality-wise & what a company supported, was almost unheard of.  With that being said, it is also important to note that this was before people were as open about their own personal views and beliefs. 

As time went on & as the idea of believing in something on your own grew, so did branding. It was quickly discovered that it wasn’t so much about the product anymore, it was about which brand consumers would rather support. This occurred when competition grew. If a million products can practically give you almost the same end result at nearly the same price, consumers started looking deeper into each business.

This has become evidently clear within the past ten years because of how ads are less focused on products & more focused on an ideal or personality trait. The product or service is still a part of the ad, but the branding behind it is a more crucial part of any promotion. What a company believes in, supports & stands for is their brand. The organizations they donate to, the movements they support, their values, their mission, & so much more are all a part of their branding.

As time goes on & competition continues growing, the evolution of branding continues developing. We’ve observed how younger generations will stop buying from a brand as a whole because they don’t support the same beliefs as them. Regardless of whether or not they absolutely loved the product before, these younger generations will drop a brand they don’t align with like it’s nothing. That’s why being upfront & honest with your branding, & truly finding out how you want to represent your company or business  is absolutely crucial in this new ad age. 

For example, Nike went from just selling a pair of shoes to be a better athlete, to selling an idea of being a better athlete who fights for social justice. We all know about Nike’s controversial ads with Colin Kaepernick…

…but those ads are the best example on how businesses’ branding has been evolving. Instead of focusing on the science behind their shoes, Nike is now focusing on who is wearing their shoes. Check out the examples below.



The second a company shoots an ad out supporting one of their beliefs, millions of people were dropping their brand, burning their products, & absolutely destroying them online. However, that is Nike’s brand. That’s what they believe in, & that’s how they want to represent themselves.

Marketing is no longer about a single product, it’s about those beliefs the company holds, something that consumers can relate to – & that’s branding. So although the “effect” of Nike’s ads have always been the same (buying shoes), the consumer’s end goal has shifted from simply buying shoes to resonating deeper with what they believe in & support. That’s the difference in advertising & branding from the Don Drapers to the Uptown Girls. Still need help figuring out who your brand is? Contact us today – we can help!

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