Branding Yourself

September 22, 2014

IMAGE_6800These days large companies and organizations have staff who “manage” their brand, that is, work to manage the psychological associations and impressions evoked by the institution’s name, logo, ads, labels, etc. Instead of an identity emerging from one’s actions and good works, identity is apparently something to be packaged and marketed.

How odd, really. It goes against the grain, somehow.  Haven’t we learned that we should not judge a book by its cover, or that beauty is only skin deep?

This passage from Russell Hoban’s Turtle Diary offers a wry look at what would transpire if we all tried to brand ourselves:

“It occurred to me then to imagine lives packaged and labelled and ranged on shelves waiting to be bought.  I couldn’t think of any likely brand names right off except Brief Candle.  And what if the ingredients were listed on the box?  Many lives would go unsold, they’d have to discontinue some of the range.  Sorry, we don’t stock that life anymore, there was no demand for it really.  Hard Slog for example or Dreary Muddle, how many would they sell a year?  On the other hand Wealth and Fame would move briskly even with a Government Warning on the packet.”

What brand name would you choose for yourself?