Thursday, February 5, 2009

Do better brands make you better?

We live in a branded world and sadly but truly, even death doesn’t do us part. I have heard that even funeral homes rely on branding to generate interest in prospective clients, aka-- future cadavers. Fascinating! Now you can lie in peace for eternity in a brand name of your choice. We humans can be such conscious planners.:-)

Think about it; brand names are applicable to every aspect of our daily existence. Sometimes consciously; there are a few times, subconsciously. For instance, the brand of radio station you tune into or the clothes you wear or the cereal you eat. What about the shoes or coat or every accessory you adorn yourself with or the bed sheet you sleep on? What about when it comes to purchasing a car or buying even your child’s diaper or food? How about the brand of the company you work for and the school you studied from? The mantra is “brand and branding.” I should know; I make a living out of them.

The relevance of a brand name is relative. A person might be discerning about the brand of handbags they strut or the cosmetics they buy but might be apathetic towards branding when it comes to the shoes they wear or the brand of car they drive or the grocery they purchase. Also, each brand holds a contrasting or disparate meaning for different people. For instance, Whole foods and Trader Joe’s are food haven for a health fanatic for me, but I know people who think of those two stores as incongruous - insolence to frugality and sensibility. I might feel differently, but they have the right to their opinion.

I have heard fathomless, unlikable, trite, coated-in-insecurity debates about whether or not working for a big brand name means you are professionally more gifted OR studying from an Ivy-League or the other top schools indicates you are a prodigy roaming the streets of Intelligenceville. Sure. The logic of networking with crème la crème, if you work or studied from a big brand name, is totally pertinent, but that doesn’t mean that folks who studied from an average school or work for a “not-so-well- heard of” company are any less gifted. I have friends who didn’t go to school in the US and career-wise, they are equally (if not more) successful. What big name companies and schools do, is make you feel good because they are recognized brands, and you don’t need to ever explain to people the details because they have heard of it.

Here is what I think: I believe that brand names matter; just not the way most people think. Brands names don’t make you a better person; they help you feel better. It’s about mental positioning. What a good brand does (again, good is a relative word from the spenders’ viewpoint) is gives you the “feel good” factor. Like Ivanka Trump once said, “I've never lived in a building without my name on it.” Wearing a Burberry coat doesn’t turn a person into a chic model; it’s the feeling that the coat brings about (vs. a woolen from Marshalls) that stands out. Like driving a Volvo minivan makes a mother feel confident about the security and safety of her children. Once you feel good, you feel positive. When you feel positive, you feel secure and that’s what you exude through your mannerisms. That’s when the world is yours.

More until next time.

Copyright © 02.05.2009

"What"s a brand? A singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of the prospect." - Al Ries


Anonymous said...

Love the way you have conveyed the message

Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently discussing about the prevalence of technology in our day to day lives. Reading this post makes me think back to that debate we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further innovates, the possibility of transferring our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's a fantasy that I daydream about all the time.

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