The Biggest Branding Challenge

April 2010
by David Lemley

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The Biggest Branding Challenge

by David Lemley

Hands up if you are sick and tired of hearing about branding. Me too. Brands, branding, and branded everything are everywhere. The pinnacle of oversaturation had to be when Tom Peters wrote The Brand You. Now we live amid a marching mass of billions of branded bipeds. And how about the brand books and brand gurus? It seems you can’t swing a dead cat at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon without clubbing a branding expert in the back of the head. When did it all become so ubiquitous and meaningless?

Way back in The Beginning, branding used to refer to the searing of cattle with a permanent, prominent scar that claimed said cow for life and helped keep it out of the hands of thieves. Then, as a byproduct of the Industrial Age, it became a cluster of 50-cent words co-opted by the American Marketing Association to say in 100 words what could be said in four: trademarks for corporate property.

Now the term branding sits in the pot with all the other buzzwords. Creative agencies are largely responsible for the confusion, as they quickly trademark everything under the sun to develop proprietary branding processes. We have branded branding.

Somewhere on our journey from burning live leather on the range to pretty…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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