Has everyone gone brand mad?

I love the way the world has embraced the concept of the brand – after all, it helps pay my mortgage, but at times I just wonder if the media has gone rather over the top?

The press is now full of the concept of ‘brands’: the latest I heard was in the US Primaries where they were talking about the Hilary Clinton ‘brand’. I found myself thinking about whether this is justified and are all the examples we hear really justified as brands? I started trying to arrive a sound working definition of a brand – without a great deal of success. As I marketer I understand the concept of a brand, its relationship to corporate personality, brand structure and products. But clearly, entities that exist outside the marketing framework (in its strictest sense) can be considered as brands. I battered my brain for a while considering whether the ‘Clinton brand’ is in fact a brand, or a product.

Finally I fell back on the concept of brand ownership – who owns the brand? The brand is, of course, owned by the public. So, it is logical to consider that brands are in fact emergent. If the public consider it to be a brand – if it looks like a brand, smells like a brand and tastes like brand, chances are it is a brand.


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