Debranding: The business strategy shaping the future of brands

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People’s constant exposure to digital media has, in many ways, desensitized them to advertisements. They’ve become accustomed to being bombarded by hundreds of ads all day—those lurking silently in the periphery of their screens and some playing obtrusively as unskippable YouTube videos. Given this phenomenon, companies started redefining their online marketing strategy by coming up with branded content.

In essence, the goal of branded content—a form of native advertising—is to bring people the stories they care about. Through journalistic, well-researched articles, entrepreneurs are able to blur the line between marketing and adding something valuable to consumers’ daily lives. The end result? It has become easier for firms to convince people of their worth.

The problem with this strategy, however, is that it hides the real value of a brand’s products and services by making them seem more impressive than they actually are. It’s only a matter of time until this marketing strategy stops working, as more customers become even more shrewd.

This is where debranding comes in.

What is debranding?

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Whereas the goal of branding is to differentiate a company from its competitors, debranding is all about giving customers what they truly need. Organizations dead set on this business strategy will make their ability to add value to people’s lives—minus native advertising that often sugarcoats—their sole selling point. This is more than enough to catapult firms toward time-transcending success.

Brands that debrand integrate themselves into people’s daily lives by providing products and services that genuinely matter instead of creating an illusory necessity. To do this, entrepreneurs must spot pain points in their audience’s lives and fully exercise their capacity for innovation to create a solution. Put in simplest terms, brands’ ultimate goal should be to present themselves only where and when they’re needed.

It’s a tall order, a move that requires a big leap of faith, thorough market research, and revolutionary innovations. To achieve this, there are three main things that entrepreneurs must focus on.

1.     Making products with real value

Under this business strategy, the premise is that consumers will buy less items and reserve their money for the most essential products or services. These innovations will still be marketed, of course, but the message will highlight only their practical and most important features. There are even speculations that, in the future, packaging will be minimalistic, showing only the item’s manufacturing process, purpose, and impacts to the individual user and society.

2.     Fair pricing

Debranded products and services must reflect their real value and not the value that brands want ascribed to their items. Products can’t carry price tags that speak more about the brand’s prestige than the real manufacturing costs and actual quality. Fair pricing allows wider access to innovations at reasonable prices, letting even the less advantaged make a purchase.

3.     Honesty

Whether in terms of the marketing strategy used, the product’s or service’s quality, and pre-manufacturing processes undertaken, debranded companies champion transparency. Because their concern is to bring people only their highest-quality goods, it’s never been more important to interact with customers honestly at all times.



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