Contradictory facets of branding

Universidad de San Andres
Buenos Aires
August 29th
Speaker: Benoît Heilbrunn
Doctor of Management Sciences at Université Paris-Dauphine. Professor of branding and marketing at ESCP Europe. Consultant of clients such as L’Oréal, Michelin, Perrier, Valrhona, Armani and Yellow Pages. Author of books and articles related to brands, logos, design and consumer behavior. His latest book is titled «Market Mediations» (Palgrave Mc Milan, 2015). His approach to marketing is based on semiotics, philosophy and social sciences.

The objective of this conference was to question some assumptions regarding our branding economy. Most business school spread a unique model of branding based on such notions as consistency, positioning, uniqueness, USPs. This model is implicitly based on a very occidental model derived from the Greeks which holds as a golden rule the principle of non-contradiction.
We believe this model is not valid anymore because brands have to articulate two apparently contradictory principles: on the one hand brands are based on the rationalization of beliefs and the repetition of codes linked to our industrial societies; on the other hand, brands are linked to a romantic principle of choice, diversity and surprise which is at the heart of our consumer society.