In a number of senses, brands give me a sense of purpose. In my case this predominantly happens on a professional level. I observe, analyze, contextualize, inspire and help build / innovate / sustain brands. I am also a consumer who chooses, uses, advocates for and otherwise helps sustain brands from the flip side of the coin.
Brands are powerful. They put ideas out there for us to agree or disagree with, to ponder or identify with, or possibly spread.
Brands can communicate these ideas big and small on a local or global level based on their media and communications reach.
Brands can help us belong to something bigger or smaller depending on our need. And they can also help change the world…for the better if we let them. 🙂
I am presently reading an “oldie” but goodie in “the biz” called “The Brand Gap” – by Marty Neumeier and was inspired to today’s musings by the following page:
How do YOU feel about brands?
One thought on “Brands Make Me Feel Like I Belong”
Mostly agree with you Jamie, though brands seldom put ideas out there for you to agree with or disagree with – the ideas are already out there and brands sometimes chose to associate with those ideas. More importantly, brands never do anything. Companies that own brands do stuff. Companies are collections of people; brands are collections of ideas. When the company’s people and their behavior are agreeable to use, we want to promote and associate with them – we want to buy, consume and flaunt their products. Behaviors that matter are those that demonstrate how the company feels about its employees, its customers, the communities in which it operates, and its environment. What they say and do tells us how they feel. Saying and doing is what the people within companies do. Brands (should) operate as guides to what these companies say and do. Having a brand that stands for happiness is good. But in the long-run — in the long-run, I say! — promoting and encouraging happiness is all that matters. And only companies, not brands, can do such things.
And to Marty: Brands are not gods. The ideas the brands represent are the gods. Some brands stand for equality, freedom, wellbeing and the like. These idea-gods populate my pantheon. But other idea-gods stand for superiority, control over others, and unbridled hedonism. These too are idea-gods, but they and verboten in both my pantheon and my pantry.