Earlier this year, in a New Yorker article entitled "Twilight of the Brands", James Surowiecki argues that brands are waning--with the exception of the luxury space. Nicholas Bordas has taken some exception to this while still claiming that this is a dangerous time to be a brand.
I disagree. It's a dangerous time to still believe that you are in sole control of your brand, or that you have the luxury of stasis. The speed of business is accelerating and not only your brand, but your business model itself needs to be reexamined and redesigned on a much more regular basis. At the center of that reexamination and redesign needs to be an obsession with your customers.
We are in a human-to-human era of business, when connections matter more than experiences. Whatever business you think you are in, your real business is understanding the pain of your customers and helping them remove it. If you think of your brand as centering on serving others rather than disseminating an image, your brand and your business will be far more relevant, current, and necessary.