Posted February 3, 2009
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Guest Column

Meltdown Creates New Global Champions

We have now arrived right in the middle of that second half of the hyper-accelerated phase, where western brands start to fall like dominos. As pointed in my column of 2006, "The Global Image Repositioning Shifts", in the US alone hundreds of its world-class brands are being erased, from monster banking to mega manufacturing, some 73,000 stores alone being closed in the first half of 2009 according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, overall a Trillion-dollars worth of branding imagery that took decades of image building is getting scrubbed out worldwide. The damage so huge it can possibly be seen from the space, as streets are less bright and the cities are dimmer.

The famous sky-high brand evaluations claiming values in tens of billion dollars are just about irrelevant now. The customers of the world now brag about their brand loyalty by stating the billions in bailouts given to their brands as or by size of their bankruptcy.

The passage of 2008, where record-breaking losses were added to the tune of 30.1 trillion dollars in market evaluations according to Bloomberg is not just a tidy folder of time pulled from the Julian calendar it's rather a real basket case. Something that started years ago will take years to sort out. But nevertheless it will create a forced change and alter the course to all aspects of our lives. This direct hit of the financial meteor wiping out a generational thinking will create a new landscape with chasms and voids that will have to be filled by new image leaders and new type of brand champions from far away lands and this will surely create new imagery towards new dynamics and positive changes.

USA once again has a great opportunity to fully demonstrate a grand scale nationwide rags-to-riches story, something which is not only a very original American craft but also no other nation of the world has ever achieved this level of proven mastery of grassroots entrepreneurialism. Therefore, when all combined, these turbulences will lead to some amazing new global-scale-cyber-models pointing to brand new style of delivery of good and services. There will be an explosion of change, from paperless newspapers, shopping-center-less shopping to office-less offices. For the last half century growth was always measured by structural extensions but now it will be expressed more by cyber reach of customer base. This process will be difficult to adjust for a while but these new concepts will dominate the 2010-2020 business models.

Asian and Gulf countries are in the race too. From high profile record-breaking mega developments of Dubai to car projects like the NANO of India, the cheapest car ever designed for the affordability of a billion new customers, some 43,000 big and small brands have hatched in Asia during the last 5 years and getting some serious traction. India will soon demonstrate a $10.00 laptop for the masses and China a series of shockingly cheap highly engineered products. Overall India is poised to lead the race. Despite, there are only few globally recognizable name identities out of this entire region; the power of this mega image shift is supporting their growth as these heavily populated regions are providing the fuel.

Talk about more change, the Whitehouse is where a black family lives now; Wall Street is where CEO's panhandle the poor of Main Street. The echoes of O-B-A-M-A ring every hallway, Obama brand merchandise hit the volume and meltdown turns into Niagara Falls, while the widely expected notions of a turn around upon inauguration - American know that our economic recovery will take years "not months" President Obama said according to Reuters.

The expected change, the constant breaking news of the financial meltdown has now become background music to everyone's ears as now they all stare at the huge, city-size craters in their backyards. Somehow the new realities are now only to be found in billion and trillion dollar issues while million-dollar-thinking-poor-millionaires just have drifted away. With note printing at warp speed, under high secrecy a major publication prepares the cover of The New Trillionaire. The other new trends will emerge fast; if human toil really creates real wealth so will the hard working poor nations be responsible to create the new global wealth? Will Harvard MBAs have to become experts on Micro-Lending? Will old business models be put aside till brand new platforms emerge?

All during 2008, the power of media as a new-inter-continental-multi-media-concoction has emerged as a new type of centrality controlling the minds of the new world. The global information flow is no longer like streams or rivers with dams and canals; rather it's more like Noah's flood. Only the very lucky ones can get a boat ride, the rest simply drown. Every second, breaking news interacts will billions of emails and creates it own tsunami making all the traditional delivery mechanism obsolete and burying all the advertising messages along with it.

The new-information-flooding is the new superpower; while no one really controls it, the information is now like water that finds it own flow. All the old delivery models are dead while new ones are not even hatched. In this chaos brand new mass communication standards and great methodologies will emerge. With hundred newspapers for sale in the US alone, the newspapers will have to become ?paperless? online powerhouse portals or else.

The 2010 will be a new landscape, as new corporate structures of newly merged survivors will appear all over the globe. The advertising will emerge in an entirely different form, more like a digital plug to be attached to ringing cash registers as pay as you go services and sales first and bill later type models will survive. The ICANN's brand new domain name platform will very positively shake the branding world on a global scale. The traditional costs and times to build global image and unique name identities will be cut by up to 95% in most applications. With one billion users on the Internet and one billion plus electronic devices in the hands of global customers the positioning of the right name identities in the right applications will win the battles, and at times instantly. The study by ABC Namebank on the new global trends points to how new champions must capture the hundreds of deals now emerging on new cyber-branding structures.

On the positive note, so where are these new champions, what are they up to and when will they emerge with bold new faces to global customer base? Currently they are on intense research and pre-launch activity, the game is wide open, the race is global, the rules are ultra-sophisticated, some are embracing the hard facts, approaching it correctly to lead the charge as a phenomenal new global cyber branding age cometh.

Naseem Javed, widely recognized a world-authority on corporate nomenclature and global image issues. Author of Naming for Power, Naseem introduced The Laws of Corporate Naming in 80s and currently is lecturing on global cyber branding and the new ICANN platform. nj@njabc.com

© Copyright 2009/Exchange Morning Post/Exchange Business Communications Inc.
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