Brand Matters

BRAND MATTERS - then as now!   


It seems everything today is a brand or pretends to be one. Whether it's the latest sensational pop star or a proudly elected politician, more attention seems spent on enhancing the image than necessarily improving the product. Does all this really matter anyway? 

It does if you're an advertising executive, a local car dealer or even an everyday Jill or Joe. Brand matters when and where the decision to select or reject the pop star, the grocery product or the political party platform is made -- in our gray matter.

As far back as 1957, author Vance Packard in his seminal work entitled The Hidden Persuaders revealed the psychological techniques and for those times, questionable subliminal tactics that were being applied as a way of promoting a product. He made us question our own ethic, "Is it truly important to be the best or simply that others believe you are". Meanwhile we lived, acted and even argued our lives away on a set of standards handed to us by Madison Avenue.

Packard's classic example was the then risqué Maidenform bra advertisement that showed a woman barely clad in her skirt and bra thinking, "I dreamed I was . . . (Fill in some everyday activity) in my Maidenform bra". The undertones of this promotion, a woman exhibiting herself in her undergarments was enough to shock the stodgy 1950s culture, to make Maidenform a compelling brand and Vance Packard a bestselling author.

Yes, brand matters, then as now.