Brand wagon – (sorry that should read on the wagon) And dark matter

Mark Earls has set a challenge – can we give up the brand word for the month of January – to enthusiastic response.  I was a little alarmed at some of the responses – Mark's point is not that branding is no longer relevant but that the word is a grab bag for many different things most of which are never articulated when the word comes up in meetings.  I'm afraid I did very badly falling over within 2 days largely I suspect because I had to finish a b**** pyramid with a client so that minefield seemed impossible to cross without immediately blowing myself up.  1841959871

 This month by way of detox I thought I would read Neil Boorman's account of how he burned all his branded possessions. Bonfire of the brands. Like all books about brands it makes them much more important than they really are. For example "those who spend the most on advertising get the highest sales." Wrong just plain wrong – but its easy to get carried away with the rhetoric and to believe that all those dishonest smarmy marketing people are putting one over you when it really doesn't work that well. There's a particular inicicent where a marketing psychoanalysis identifies the particular moment where he "anchored" with Adidas as a child which is why he can't shake it off now. If only it were that easy. The insidious nature of the means we have to abbreviate and accelerate marketing decsion making is that it works like dark matter, background radiation – Its there, you can measure it but you can't see it.  If it was that big a deal we'd rise up against it – but its the constant dripping and also the banality of it which enables it to keep being effective. And that doesn't make for exciting reading.  I'll let you know how I get on with Neil Boorman's book at the end of the month. Buy it here.



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