Are we jumping on the brandwagon? That was the core question discussed at an ESOMAR event a decade ago in Berlin, at a time when brandology and brand management were fast rising in importance. At the end of the conference, it was stated that there was still a lot of room for improvement in the area of measuring product/brand performance. Measurements of images, value systems and loyalty were seldom consistently reliable and valid over the long term. This increased turbulence around the brand has probably not promoted the further accrual of a solid body of knowledge. Indeed, it seems as if the softies might have gained the upper hand, given the popularity of semiotics, small scale qualitative research and related approaches. But is this really the case? In this edition of Research World we look at the brand in today's context of rapidly changing competitive relations. Is the accent on short-term profit and market share still stronger than long-term brand building? We present a snapshot of a burgeoning conflict.