One of the fascinating aspects of the current horsemeat-in-your-lasagne scandal is that it takes us back to the original purpose of brands. With echoes of the banking crisis, it has tarnished trust in brands that has taken nearly a century to build. It’s yet another blow to the reputation of ‘business’ generally.
In recent decades, society has viewed brands primarily as vehicles for personal expression. They have been used by consumers to make statements about themselves, the kind of people they are, their aspirations and limitations.
But the first fmcg brands emerged in the Victorian era, not to express lifestyle choices, but to reassure consumers about the provenance of their foodstuffs. (more…)