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Obsessive Branding Disorder

In nature, animals use all sorts of evolutionary tricks to mislead predators, mates, and competitors about who they are. The tomato frog puffs...


In nature, animals use all sorts of evolutionary tricks to mislead predators, mates, and competitors about who they are. The tomato frog puffs itself up to look like a bigger, more fearsome creature when it's facing down danger. Harmless coral snakes bluff predators by mimicing poisonous ones. It's a facade.In the world of business, the corresponding behavior is called "branding." While creating a "strong brand identity" or whatever certainly has some fun, legitimate purposes, more often than not branding is about manipulating consumers' impressions. Starbucks is your little, local coffee shop. Häagen-Dazs is Scandinavian or something (the name is nonsense; no language uses umlauts that way). Branding has run amok, and that's the subject of Lucas Conley's new book OBD: Obsessive Branding Disorder - The Illusion of Business and the Business of Illusion. According to VSL:Conley, a contributing writer at Fast Company, believes branding is an insidious pathology contaminating American life. His well-executed argument is convincing: The more money and effort companies pour into branding, the fewer resources are left for research, development and substantive innovation. Our products and services don't improve, or even give us what we actually need; they just get slicker. And we are diminished.It looks like a great read to us. The appearance of the cover convinces us it's a sophisticated, no-nonsense analysis. It's on Amazon here.
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