It’s Time to Move from Brandlore to Promising Brands

If branding began as a way to mark cattle and claim ownership, today it is a way to mark minds and claim “mindshare.” When it works, it is quite powerful. The trouble is that many marketers aren’t clear on what a brand actually is, which is why we are in a dangerous state of overbranding. In a recent advertisement for a leading smartphone, I counted no less than twelve features of the phone that were branded with clever names or graphic symbols. Including the brand name and identity for the phone itself, that means this one product embodied thirteen brands. During a stay at a popular hotel chain I was surprised to see that my bed, my shower, the room service option, ...

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