Brand being

12Feb09

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What makes up your personal identity? Race, gender, physical attributes, professional career, social circle, geographic location, and education, among others, defines who we are, and as consumers, we tend to shop for brands that reflect these elements we embody.

 

One could argue that possessions are a part of “self.” Saying something is “mine” encourages belief that the object is also “me.” Is it accurate to say that we have a tendancy to define, and perhaps remind, ourselves of who we are by our possessions?

 

Brands embody positive, desireable images that reflect our individual characters. Possessions, as materialistic as it may seem, are an important source of image, and when it comes to chosing brands, this identity often shifts from defining an individual by what they do, to what they have.

 

Evidence of this lies among young children who often want a product for the sole reason that another has it, not because of its benefits. We also find that adults recognize and relate their personal belongings to rank, social power and success.

 

Have you ever lost your cell phone? Did you feel naked without it? People often use personal possessions, like jewelry, automobiles, make-up, and clothing to define their sense of self and when we are striped of those belongings, a piece of ourselves goes too.

 

This illustrates brands as a sense of belonging; linking groups of individuals together. Consider Harley Davidson and the consumers family that brand has defined. Or what about loyal sports teams? At West Virginia University, it doesn’t matter who you are or where your from; if you’re a Mountaineer, you’re family.

 

What brands best reflect you?

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One Response to “Brand being”

  1. Nice post! 🙂

    I definitely feel that we all use brands to reflect ourselves to some extent but I personally get annoyed by some of these brands plastering their name/logo all over everything they sell. For example, I saw a Hollister t-shirt with nothing but the words Hollister written across the front about about 6 times in big bold print. I think that’s a bit excessive…it’s like they are getting paid for an advertisement. I’d rather have a well made solid-colored shirt than one where the only design is the company’s name/logo. Evidently I’m in the minority though because it’s pretty obvious that they aren’t hurting in the sales.


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