Monday, November 02, 2009

Nations Are Not Brands
Nations Do Not Have Brands

This is the proximate cause of my current irritation on this front. (See also: this.)

This is not a difficult point to understand. Are people so conceptually impoverished that they have to understand everything in terms of buying and selling? The United States is built upon certain ideas and principles, and associated with certain orientations and projects. These things are far more important than the frivolous business of marketing. We are not a cereal, we are not a shiny new car, we are not a pair of jeans. The great American project, flawed though it is, is not analogous to some mere money-making scheme. The Constitution is not the Nike swoosh, nor is it similar to it in any interesting sense. Nor, even, is the flag, though there is at least a minimal similarity there.

Shut up about the brad BS already. "Branding" is not a word, unless its something done to cattle.

There's normally no good reason to harp on words, but the mindless assimilation of everything human to selling lurks in the background of such misuses of 'brand' and its cognates, and that is not only confused but otherwise pernicious as well.

Two seconds of thought is enough to see why it's past time for this irritating piece of lackwit jargon to go.


Blogger The Mystic said...

You know, I always hear this terminology flung around (especially since I currently work in IT at a business school...*groan*), and I wonder if anyone knows of any actual defense of its use.

Surely these people aren't as ridiculous as our cynicism might have it. Anyone know of any actual attempts at reasoning in defense of the use of this terminology?

2:39 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

Our culture has a deep, deep problem. We act as if we indeed believe that image is reality.

Duhbya damaged our reputation, and rightly should have, not our brand. But then, think how many Americans truly believe that the flag is more important than the Constitution!

5:03 PM  

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