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Beyond Branding is written by members of The Medinge Group

The Beyond Branding blog

August 23, 2003


Two ads last night some time for cars extolling the virtues of the General Motors family. Then another selling me some cleaning agent from SC Johnson - a family company.

Make me feel all warm and snuggly to think of little ol' Daewoo (can't remember if it was Daewoo), nestled deep in the bosom of a £200bn company whose core competence is decentralising carbon monoxide production.

As for Johnson wax, if they're a family, I'm sure they'll understand just how dirty floors can get with three children under 5. Good to feel your empathy Johnsons.

Sure, family is a good word. We all love a family. Values of love and mutual trust and the passing on of wisdom and stability. But is it helpful here, or is this fakery just widening the trust gap for these brands?

The reality is families look after themselves first and others second. Families keep secrets. I'd rather know that i was part of the Johnson family. At least I'd be $100m richer.

In contrast to japanese corporate keiretsu, which exist in a genuine co-dependency, western families merely offer me overtones of exclusion, and privilege...

Think again GM. What's the mutual benefit? What are you doing to put your family status into collaborative action? Explain how exactly your family helps me?
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