Branding and crowdsourcing

While it is true that brands do generate their power from customers, and should thus be understood as user generated or even crowdsourced, one should never confuse this fact with brand management. Brand management is a process in which brand owner steers his brand in such a way that it generates as much power as possible from users.

Branding as crowdsourcing

Yes. Brands are memetic entities that evolve only through co-evolution. While user uses (memetically) a brand both user and a brand change, they coevolve. That is why it is widely accepted that brands are only potentials available for users and that specific user experience only transforms such potentiality into something valuable. So the final brand value is crowdsourced as much as Wikipedia is crowdsourced. But with an important difference:

Branding as top down activity

While brands are crowdsourced, as stated above, one should never forget that brands are induced, developed and put on market thanks to internal powers of organization or individuum that stands behind. Even in the case when brands are developed within larger organizations that demand involvement of wider team of internal stakeholders in the branding process, it still holds that this is or at least should be top down activity. Brands without initiator that holds major credits and risks attached to branding endeavour do not come to existence. As simple as that.

Dual nature

Brands are thus dual in nature. On one side a result of core internal function that can as such never be outsourced, but on another side as totally dependant on customer involvement that can bring life and meaning into created brand potential.

Andrej Drapal