At last I’ve managed to get enough time to share the presentation that myself and Tom Farrand created for the Financial Services Forum in October 2009.

For those of you that followed the presentation on my Twitter feed and asked for the presentation here are the charts and an audio commentary from me.

In reality the presentation took about 45 mins so I’ve had to rush to crunch it down to 17 mins. You can just click through the slides if you don’t want to listen to me!

And for those that don’t even want to view the presentation or listen to the audio here are the key conclusions:

1. There is a brand bubble being created between valuation and consumer value
2. Consumers are increasingly getting frustrated with brands and business
3. There are disruptive changes which are causing this:
4. Consumption based economic growth is now compromising our well being
5. Consumption based economic growth is unsustainable
6. Connectivity and access to information can help facilitate change
7. Social and power structures are changing

The opportunity for brands and their businesses is:

1. Engage in the debate
2. Adopt a point of view and foster conversation
3. Be points of consistency in a changing world
4. Become the ideas around which businesses can adopt a more balanced approach to delivering not just for shareholders but for the common good
5. These social imperatives are a powerful way to deliver a brand’s commercial imperative – and this will constitute brand leadership going forward.

There are lots of big themes and trends here – get involved – please comment on this blog.

What do you think the future of brands is? Comment and share your ideas.

Justin (and Tom Farrand)

P.S. Apologies for the silence from my blog over the past couple of weeks – I’ve been working on various ideas which took my focus away from the blog.

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Justin Basini

Entrepreneur, author of Why Should Anyone Buy From YOU?, blogger (, business, brand and marketing thinker and do-er, husband and dad


  1. Justin & Tom – congrats to this insightful and though provoking presentation. Although my business is more about fundamental disruption through price-point shifts and new distribution channels, I share your views and vision for established brands. Playing the social card whilst maximising profits has always been a "dance on a knive". The mission of " a brand as the best friend" has however been promoted for some years ("McDonald: I love it!"). In my view, the responsibility of companies will go beyond by integrating themselves into the people lives as facilitators and "honest translators" of an ever more complex and intransparent world. This is not necessarily defined by social standards but more by creating "ultimate transparency" translated through smart i-applications or tools. This "ultimate transparency" can however only be facilitated if companies have the gut and self-confidence to extend their communication to a platform of open exchange (2.0) like a moderator. "I am on your side no matter what comes". It's truly challenging to live this, but rewarding if you achieve it.

  2. Thanks Tobias. You are dead right about transparency and the need to go beyond trying to be your best friend but actually doing something tangible about it, whether through tools, new products or services or activities people can get involved in. We see this open exchange happening in other places (look at Zappos) where there's a real person on the end of the dialogue, not a faceless brand campaign. What you are doing in your industry is a great example, the more individuals front up and lead change and create relationships that optimise the value for all parties concerned, the stronger the brands will become!

  3. Tom, Justin…

    Good one. Makes eminent sense. Corpportaions today are too institutional, out of touch with the individual. I need to push this dialogue in my company… have been on about many of these things for years (Tom, I need to share a dvd w you of a presn I made at a marketing forum back in 2005). Let's chat!



  4. Hey Ash, ta for that, would love to see the dvd, am sure you got to a similar place way before we did (!). But still, it's interesting as individuals are putting a lot of actions in place to change how their businesses come across and deliver to their customers, so the dialogue is more live than ever. You back in UK soon? Let's chat as you say.

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