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The World Will Change With Us or Without Us

Andy Payne

The world will change with us or without us. Likewise, we can be changed by the world, or we can move to change it.

It is just such a challenge that we are facing when we think about the important role that brands play in advancing human progress the world over. Every time a brand seeks our help navigating the marketplace, we stare down these challenges anew. Because brands really are a force for change, and if we shrink from that, we are not acknowledging a fundamental truth of the world today.

Read the business news, pore over stock tables, or keep up with developments in culture and technology, and it’s clear: The way we live and do business around the world is in a state of constant flux, perhaps now more than ever. But less obvious is how these changes are altering each and every one of us in real time. As technology redefines the content of our aspirations, as healthcare undergoes repeated seismic shifts, and as media interacts with us and invites us to be the story, the ground we stand on is shifting—and it’s the companies that deliver these new possibilities who are shaping the change.

Then, too, consumers reshape these products and services in new and unexpected ways, creating a feedback loop between brand and community that is truly spinning the globe in new directions all the time.

What connects all this upheaval—the thread running through the trends and the changes—is creativity. The scale of human creativity today is astounding, and brands provide the infrastructure, the framework, and the impetus for so much of the energy that moves the world forward. In this way, brands help define our world and serve as a filter to how we see ourselves and live our lives in relation to others.

In a word, brands are catalysts.

Brands have long been crucial change agents, creating choice, generating loyalty, and commanding a premium. But in a world where social media and high technology are enabling far-flung individuals to come together around areas of common interest and passion, brands are shaping communities, geographically decentralized groups whose alliance is undeniable and whose passion is a force to be reckoned with.

It’s a responsibility that brands can take on or shirk. Our role is to help them accept their power and use it to generate both profits and passion—the kind of passion that changes the world.

FYIQ

  • About Andy Payne
    Andy Payne is Global Creative Director for Interbrand. When asked What's the one thing you would change about the world if you could? Andy answered: “I would make education available to all. A wider knowledge of the world around us and of how different yet similar we all are would be the foundation for solving many of the world’s problems.”
    Andy.Payne@interbrand.com
    @apglobalcd
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