5 Brand as Facilitator (Evolution of Brands)


There are four stages of evolution in the relationship between brands and consumers discussed previously. Starting with a very abstract concept of a company and product or service represented by a mark or logo, and evolving to a more mutually beneficial relationship, this has evolved over centuries.

I believe we’re now entering a fifth evolution that actually started fairly soon after the fourth. We are, after all, in a time of accelerating change. So, it makes sense that all things, including the brand-consumer relationship would evolve at an accelerating pace.

This relationship is what is referred to as the facilitator-maker relationship.

As consumers have access to increasing varieties and options, and their agency to research and spend their money more wisely increases, the power that a few corporations or brands have over them decreases.

In this scenario, the brand, which was primarily thought of in the past as the “maker” of things, has now shifted to being a facilitator. The consumer is now the “maker,” facilitated by brands. Consumers now have the power and the agency to choose what they want, when, where, and how they want it. Brands are there to provide services and facilitate the creation of consumers’ experiences.

These are explored in more depth in The Agile Brand (2018) and The Agile Consumer (2019)