Emergent: Superbrand or something else?

www.superbrands.com/uk have just announced what they believe to be the strongest brands here in the UK (though they do this internationally, so if you’re not a UK resident and you’re interested, you can check out what’s what where you are).

According to Superbrands, effective branding can create immediate perception and expectation, merely by the mention of its name. Successful brands are not about loyalty, per se, but about their ability to get us identifying with them, aligning our lifestyles, aspirations and intentions with those proffered by the brand. They are like contemporary icons, in the sense that they offer to us far more than a two dimensional image. We are lead to believe that there is ‘something’ beyond the logo, a ‘something’ that we connect with. It’s about building an emotional bond between brand and consumer, about defining the personality of the enterprise. In short, it’s about ‘identity-creation’.

This reminded me about a conversation I had about a year ago regarding Emergent and whether or not Emergent could be considered a brand, or was it something else? Certainly, on that occasion, the consensus seemed to be that there was something about the term ‘brand’ that didn’t fit comfortably with those present. However, reading this report and witnessing the exponential growth of Emergent in the last year and recognising that the word ‘Emergent’ increasingly means something to people within the international Christian community, I’d like to revisit this discussion – but this time on-line.

So come on – what does Emergent ‘mean’ to you? Is it a brand, a movement, a network, a reformation? Is it beyond defining? What does Emergent conjure up for you? What do you 'expect' from it? Why do you identify with it? What are your aspirations and hopes and does Emergent feed these or reflect them back to you?