Amnesty for the “Brand” idea

Posted by on Aug 9, 2008 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments


I've written before (for example here) about how unhelpful the Brand Idea has become.

Actually, I think my point was that it had become too useful: because there's no agreed definition, you can use "Brand" to mean anything thing you want, to prescribe and justify what you want to do or proscribe and scorn what you don't want to do.

It's a shorthand that signals lazy thinking or worse.

A way of both obfuscating stuff and at the same time avoiding tough thinking about how stuff really works

So when this morning's Guardian Weekend mag trails an interview with John Leslie, minor TV celeb with a string of alleged sexual assault (and equally alleged drug abuse history) with the words

'I failed to protect the brand … moi'

…you know it's time to stop

So I'm going to propose an amnesty.

If – from today – you stop using the B-word, we won't say any more about it. Your previous will be wiped from the record.

Now, move along, nothing to see here…


  1. Valeria Maltoni
    August 9, 2008

    The whole idea of marketing is misunderstood and confused by rear seat marketers (=non marketers who think anyone can do the job, etc.). Why stop at brand?

  2. n_to_the_h
    August 9, 2008

    Mr Earls,
    you’ll quite enjoy this link then:
    And you should def talk to Mr Maschmeyer as he is been saying some of the same things…

  3. Tom
    August 11, 2008

    Agree for the most part. It’s become a meaningless spongy term.
    Can we please also ban planners and marketing folks from EVER, EVER AGAIN using Apple or anything related to iPods in case studies?
    If I have to sit through another presentation where someone is told they need to emulate Apple, I’m going to punch the presenter for sheer lack of originality and creativity.
    I can’t wait for Apple to start tanking (in about 5 years) which will force all the planners to STFU.

  4. gregorylent
    August 18, 2008

    sheesh, go all the way, stop using market as a verb.