In Robert Passikoff’s, “Top 10 Brand and Marketing Trends for 2010” article for, he makes a few good points but neglects a larger issue facing brands in 2010. Passikoff writes:

Old tricks don’t work/won’t work anymore

In case your brand didn’t get the memo here it is -consumers are on to brands trying to play their emotions for profit.

In the wake of the financial debacle of this past year, people are more aware then ever of the hollowness of bank ads that claim “we’re all in this together” when those same banks have rescinded their credit and turned their retirement plan into case studies.

The same is true for insincere celebrity pairings: think Seinfeld & Microsoft or Tiger Woods & Buick. Celebrity values and brand values need to be in concert, like Tiger Woods & Accenture. That’s authenticity.

They won’t need to know you to love you

As the buying space becomes even more online-driven and international (and uncontrolled by brands and corporations), front-end awareness will become less important.

A brand with the right street cred can go viral in days, with awareness following, not leading, the conversation. After all, everybody knows GM, but nobody’s buying their cars.

What Robert’s not mentioning is the erosion of Brands as value-adding, differentiating assets. Today, competing brands look more alike than ever before and consumers are quickly not caring.

Perhaps branding (traditional branding that is) has become antiquated. In 2010, building a brand that comes out of the marketing department (rather than the organization as a whole and its loyal customer base) is like trying to give yourself a nickname. It just won’t stick.

And this is why you hire a professional.

Another person on the panel at the SXSW design discussion was the female member of a husband and wife design team. While I don’t remember her name, I certainly remember what she said about blog pricing. $2500 and up, and this “just really begins to cover the actual time investment” required to deliver a complete, robust design.