04 November 2005

Are you sick of hearing about it?

It's time for a Friday rant.

I for one am sick of hearing about branding. Especially in the communications business, it seems like you can't walk around a corner without hearing somebody talking about it.

Branding, branding, branding.

Every time I hear the word I think of red-hot irons and burnt flesh. The very notion that you can slap a brand on nearly anything and that will change it for the better seems ludicrous. How's this for a notion: Make better products!

Take a minute to give me your own Friday rant before you go home for the weekend.

What are you sick of hearing about?

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Anonymous said...

There's a apple and orange problem here.

I don't believe anyone thinks branding makes anything better. Branding is a marketing communication tool. It shortcuts the consumer decision process, reduces price sensitivity, and engenders loyaly. Think Starbucks. Is their coffee really better than Caribou's or your locall independent's? Who knows? Who cares?

As for making better products, the sad fact is that product superiority is not a sustainable business advantage. Product success is too easy to duplicate. The "better mousetrap" or "build it and they will come" philosophy is simply not a viable one in today's infinite-choice environment. Besides, how many people are qualified to make objective product-quality judgements about a car, an insurance policy, a telephone service, or even a cup of coffee? Very, very few. They can form opinions, but those opinions will be largely shaped by personal (emotional) factors. Hence, branding.

Unknown said...


Your comment is off point. My post wasn't about branding, it was about being sick of hearing about it.

You didn't answer my question yet: what are you sick of hearing about?

Anonymous said...

Amen, brother!

Unknown said...

Process--especially examining processes instead of just doing something.

David Phillips said...

Lol... Think I got my brand rant in about 10 seconds before you.

The whole notion of brand management has to undergo a revolution. The existing models are far to fixed in the stakeholder model. This rigid thinking is not of the networked society and by that I do not mean just electronically networked. I mean the society living in a weightless economy. Rigid corporate models are dangerous. This idea of hierarchical structures has to be re-evaluated by the PR industry. It is already being left behind in this regard.

Anonymous said...


You said:

"The very notion that you can slap a brand on nearly anything and that will change it for the better seems ludicrous. How's this for a notion: Make better products!"

That's what I was responding to, so was I really off point?

That said, I've become a daily reader of Communication Nation. Kudos to you for a terrific blog.

What am I sick of hearing about?

The death of anything: advertising, TV, hierarchical structures, this industry, that industry, whatever. People still use paper, they still go to brick and mortar banks, and they still value face-to-face meetings. Rock and roll has been pronouned dead more times than jazz. Nothing is dying. That's one of the reasons why our lives are becoming more and more complicated.

Unknown said...

Well technically maybe you were not off point, but think of it this way: nobody wants to be told they are wrong when they are ranting, even if they ARE wrong.

Thanks for the kudos on my blog and I LOVE your rant by the way -- the information revolution reminds me of algae spreading across a pond.