Giving up on the brand idea

Posted by on Jan 2, 2009 in Uncategorized | 5 Comments


It's now almost exactly two years since I quit smoking (actually, I prefer the 'stopped' version of this: 'quit' makes it seem like I've done something heroic).

I know all too well that smoking's not big or clever (what part of "Smoking Kills" didn't I get?); I know how tricky it is to stop because I used to be really good at it and I did commit a lot of my life to it (as most photographic records of my adult life suggest).

If you're going cold-turkey yourself as you read this, then my thoughts are with you…just remember to steer clear of friends and situations you've learned to associate with the weed – while the physical cravings become shorter and shorter and less and less frequent, the other prompts are much harder to avoid. And the madness doesn't last that long…

Prompted by this I thought it might be a good time to try to give up something else: the BRAND word. To do without it for as long as you can.

Of course, "brand" is nice, it's floppy and flexible, it makes you seem professional, it's popular – it's widely recognised in all kinds of circles – but is it really that useful?

Does it help as much as it seems to? Isn't its 'fatness' – the many different things folk mean by 'brand' – actually a weakness? Is it perhaps more "phat" than just 'fat' – more about our relationship with our conversation partners than about the thing itself?

So here's a thought: why don't we just try to make January Brand-free ?

We could just try to be clear what we mean by the shorthand…

Who's in?


  1. Holycow
    January 2, 2009

    Yep – in mate – I was way back during the yellow book era too 😉

  2. Helge Tennø
    January 2, 2009

    I’m in.
    I’ll hopefully learn something from it as “Brand” has become more of a lazy shortcut used when something should be perceived as meaningful.
    Rather than actually articulating the problem in plain English and hopefully stretching the brain far enough to discover something the laziness cleverly kept hidden.

  3. Mark
    January 3, 2009

    Yay! Who else?

  4. Antony Mayfield
    January 3, 2009

    I’m in. No more, I say…

  5. Alex Bentley
    January 4, 2009

    I’m in, except for those days I herd my cattle across the plains, and need to label one.