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Monday, August 23, 2010

Branding

Courtesy Doug Savage (many thanks, Doug). Check out his website, Savage Chickens, and look for Savage Chickens: The Book, coming next March.

Forty years ago, when tv programs like Bonanza were popular, if you mentioned "branding," everyone thought, "burning a symbol into the rump of a cow." Today, though, branding means something completely different.

The Branding of America: From Levi Strauss to Chrysler, from Westinghouse to Gillette, the Forgotten Fathers of America's Best-Known Brand Names by Ronald Hambleton [338.02 HAM] is an historical look at some familiar brands. In the 1980s, when the book was written, there were brands included that no longer exist today. If a brand/product is not kept current, then it soon fades from the public consciousness.

As seen in the book mentioned above, products were often named after their creator. But, as seen in the Savage Chickens cartoon, branding is now being applied to individuals--they ARE the product. Tom Peters, author of the best-seller, A Passion for Excellence [658.4 PET], explored this idea in an 1997 article called "The Brand Called You," check it out here.

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