April 12, 2005
It started for me when I was the deep throat source for The Economist's 1998 survey The Year of the Brand. Unfortunaltely, just as the same time the most wicked numbers game to ever hit communications of human relationships came to be invented : brand valuation. Anyone who led by those numbers killed off thousands of brand. One day IBM was even predicted to have negative worth; the brand valuers did not reply to my offer to pay a penny for the brand rights. Or marlboro ghad its Friday by exploiting the short-term power that wicked ads give to price rise hikes for so long that a whole market of generic brand undercut it, and within a week most brand stocks were cut by 20% or more. What actually died was that system of brand manageemnt which siloised the brand as advertsising rather than connecting its promise s with the trust-flow or whole living goodwill systemised across the companny's relationships with stakeholders- to suatin or die that has always been the Boardroom's question. But recently with rewards paid for what you perform over the last year, not what future you help people co-create boards like Enron, Andersen, Worldcom and 50 others have clearly chosen death for sharkeholers and all purspoeful parties connected with a global organsiation's local impacts.
Now as Tom tells me the life/death debate is hotting up here
An extract being :
Cooling off on off-brand uses of too-hot word 'brand'
By WILLIAM SAFIRE
When the New Yorker reporter Jeffrey Goldberg asked Sen. John Kerry whether the Democrats had a credibility problem on defense controversies, the party's titular leader replied without equivocation, "Look, the answer is, we have to do an unbranding." As Kerry saw it, the political problem had to do with salesmanship: "We have to brand more effectively. It's marketing." An editor on the linguistic qui vive titled Goldberg's article about the Democrats' need to shuck off the appearance of weakness "The Unbranding."
The hot word in the field of sales — indeed, pervading the world of perfect pitching — is brand.
"The King Is Dead, Long Live His Brand" is The New York Times headline above an article about the way "Michael Jordan is being mortalized so his sneakers can stay in the game." That's because "building a brand on the back of a legend works only until that back breaks."
The noun blazed on the scene a thousand years ago as a burning stick, and the meaning soon transferred to the mark left on the skin of a horse or a criminal by such a stick, or branding iron. That mark became the sign of infamy: Richard Hooker wrote in 1597 of an age marked "with the brand of error and superstition," and later, a firebrand became the symbol of an inflammatory rabble-rouser.
The burned-in mark, in the 19th century, began to signify ownership not just of an animal but also of liquids in wooden casks, like wine or ale. The brand-mark became a "trademark," and in the 20th century the designated item so labeled became a brand. In 1929, Fleischmann's Yeast absorbed the coffee maker Chase & Sanborn and other companies to form Standard Brands (now a part of Kraft), in hopes that brand names would produce brand loyalty. A generation later, David Ogilvy, the advertising executive, was dubbed by the author Martin Mayer in 1958 as an "apostle of the 'brand image"' who sought to persuade the consumer "that brand A, technically identical with brand B, is somehow a better product." Within two years, the novelist Kingsley Amis extended brand image from a product to a genre: "mad scientists attended by scantily clad daughters" constitute "the main brand-image of science fiction."
As the millennium ended, consumers wanted to become closely associated with famous names. ..At first, most of us attributed that parading of labels to snob appeal, or derogated it as a need by vacuous, lemminglike buyers to find a spurious identity in some highfalutin or jazzy product line. But an alternative, libertarian view of the branding phenomenon was soon presented: "It's a new brand world," wrote Tom Peters in the magazine Fast Company in 1997, playing on the compound adjective brand-new.
In an article titled "The Brand Called You," Peters argued that "the main chance is becoming a free agent in an economy of free agents ... looking to establish your own microequivalent of the Nike swoosh. Everyone has a chance to be a brand worthy of remark."
Oh joy to the world, what an American view of brand we will be tidal waved in unless we stand up for living brand diversity at every corner we coordinate we can map. and learn to network through Fringe and any global scales all the people's goodwill can connect. permalink
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