Filippo Vidal, Brand Strategist and Director from FutureBrand São Paulo discusses what makes a brand “world proof.”
I’m from Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1980 that were present during events that marked the era, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. I belong to the generation that was influenced by the boom of consumerism in the 80s and 90s. I was born in Italy, where I lived for the first 25 years of my life, strongly affected by the popularization of TV and the consolidation of modern capitalism. In these two decades, consumption became a synonym for high social status – and a phenomenon that bordered on compulsion.
It was also during this period that brands gained weight and impetus in popular culture, bringing all kinds of discourses to their audiences (including those inconceivable today) and not being capable of even superficially broaching themes such as sustainability and diversity, those in which current society is very engaged (thankfully!). Brands such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Marlboro, Kodak, Levi’s, Swatch, Casio, Nike and many others have become icons of popular culture.
These brands created attitudinal references that were converted into global lifestyle symbols, in many cases accelerated by the music, entertainment and fashion universe.
In a way, I can say that I grew up together with these brands and it was in this way that I developed a passion for branding. To work with brands – as I do today – is a deep source of personal realization.
In the 80s and 90s a particular fact caught my attention. Many brands could bring the value of storytelling so all-encompassing that they were able to connect with the populations of countries with diametrically opposed cultures. It is these brands we call global: those whose positioning, communication strategy, personality, appearance and essence are the same, independently of the country. Favored by global media, the emergence of the internet and the free circulation of capital resources, global brands achieved a competitive advantage via large scale economies and unified strategies. They took people to new universes and cultures previously inaccessible. They consolidated themselves as inarguable expressions of those times.