The “Unbrandables” are a new kind of consumer: savvy, sensitive to inauthenticity; hostile to relentless, debt-driving materialism; and suspicious of marketing for products they do not want or that are bad for the environment. Yet this is not to say that this demographic always rejects branding.
From Muji in Japan, Mojang in Sweden, and Deus ex Machina in Australia to The Village Voice in New York, and even the California-based fast-food brand In-N-Out Burger, brands both new and established have been able to win over a more skeptical set of consumers by recognizing that honesty is the best policy on practical as well as moral grounds.
Unbrandable is the guide, as much as there can be one, to imitating these companies’ successful marketing strategies. Author Adam Stone examines fifty brands and individuals who have learned how to thrive in this new branding landscape by taking a more creative, transparent approach.
Each profile focuses on either a brand that works, an industry professional who has adapted to new branding challenges, an individual who can articulate better than any old-fashioned focus group what the new consumer wants, or a place—among them, Berlin and Sao Paulo—that flourishes on unbrandable principles.