Reflect on this excerpt from Seth Godin’s Tribes:

My thesaurus says the best synonym for leadership is management. Maybe the word used to fit, but no longer. Movements have leaders and movements make things happen.

Leaders have followers. Managers have employees.

Managers make widgets. Leaders make change.

Change? Change is frightening, and to many people who would be leaders, it seems more of a threat than a promise. That’s too bad, because the future belongs to leaders, regardless of where they work or what they do.

My thesaurus doesn’t say that the synonym for branding is advertising, but a majority of people still believe that the activities are codependent of each other (if not the same thing). Maybe it used to be perfect fit, but the days of hiding subpar products and services behind flashy images and cartoon characters screaming consumers into action have passed.

With the proliferation of consumer choice, Google injecting their juice of transparency in to the world and a general feeling of distrust among consumers, brands must change or face inevitable decay.

Change is frightening, especially if you’re like a majority organizations who after years of relying heavily on advertising and external image, have virtually no comprehension of what they stand for, where they’re going or why they do what they do.

The time has come for brands to face their fears and change. The time has come for brands to do some soul searching and rediscover the brand within.

The future does belong to leaders, those who are leading the brands of tomorrow.