Brand Volume is dead; it’s all about brand voice. It’s almost like a music recording. Sage producers like Brian Eno know that adding yet another track to a multi-track recording usually has a counter-productive effect: instead of adding momentum to a tune, it decreases. The more tracks you record, the less space there is for ‘resonance’ – which is the inexplicable room of imagination that characterizes mythical recordings. Listen to the soundscapes on The Beatles’ White Album, T-Bone Burnett’s most recent recordings, the late Talk Talk, or U2’s Joshua Tree, and you will hear what I mean.
It’s the same with branding. Brand volume can eclipse brand voice, and a multitude of aggressive one-to(o)-many brand channels can compromise the ‘resonance’ of a brand. The less top-down branding you provide, the bigger the room for your audiences to own and shape a brand personality according to their preferences and needs. Trust them: They will fill the gap and create a ‘brandscape’ on their own. Look at what happened with MySpace – zero advertising, zero branding, but it has evolved as the most popular brand of all the unbranded brands out there.
Brands are just adapting to the fact that the ‘Less is More’ paradigm has found its way back into the cultural canon: In his new book “Design Your Self – Rethinking the Way you Work, Live, Love and Play,” minimalist designer Karim Rashid propagates a new “sensual minimalism,” teaching readers to use “addition by subtraction” and applying the ‘Less is More’ rule to all aspects of daily life.