The future of branding. I liked Seth's summary of the branding-is-dead-is-not-is-too debate: basically, brands are not dead, but branding as an activity isn't registering a pulse.
I'm happy to say that you shouldn't grow up to be someone who does branding. - Seth Godin
Speaking of the future of brands, Johnnie Moore hasn't given up on his disdain for Kevin Roberts' views on branding. (Roberts is the author of the Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands book that Tom Peters gushed was the best BizBook of the HalfDecade. I was pretty effusive too but it's not worthy of best of the half decade.) Pretty soon Johnnie's reviews of Lovemarks should surpass those of the official Lovemarks site on Google.
Another hint: Don't look for books to portend the future of brands. Or the future of anything for that matter. The unfurling edge of the unfolding future is being revealed in the real world all around us (observe!) and, secondarily, recorded within blogs, daily and monthly media. A book takes 12-18 months to publish after it's written (and that's after you've written the proposal, found an agent, condensed all your thoughts and research into cohesive drafts and revised the drafts and submitted to your editor and...) Roberts first shared his thoughts in Fast Company magazine in September 2000, after speaking about them for months. Perhaps cutting edge then....too bad Roberts wasn't blogging; he could evolved his ideas in that timeframe.
Speaking of the future. I'll use the comment exchange I've had with Johnnie to do a little bit of foreshadowing. It gives a teeny peekhole into what I'll be talking about in the coming weeks around brands, marketing, persuasion, meme-containers and worldviews. Oh, yeah, and it all ties in nicely with the topic of unconscious bias and blind spots too. All this and you don't have to wait until the publisher's book release of Spring 2006!