I get very bemused by the way the media, and indeed the wider public, has latched onto the idea of the brand – today, everything is a brand. I’m not going to irritate my ulcer by trying to define when it is or is not right to refer to something or someone as ‘a brand’. During the recent US primaries, there was much talk of the Obama brand and the Clinton brand. I struggled for a while over whether this was a useful way of looking at the candidates as having a brand – having something that had a life beyond that of the candidates. I had to conclude that there was some currency and utility in looking at the ‘brands’ as the brand represented values and actions that extended beyond the individual.
Now I look at phenomena such as reality television and social internet: with Facebook, Utube and MySpace, everyone seems striving to become a brand. It’s MePLC.
Well, that’s gone too far I think. John Smith with his blog, his space, his twitter is not a brand – he is John Smith. People may strive for celebrity and we may all look for our 15 minutes of fame, but let us rejoice in the reality of our own personality.