Branding is behind all

Branding is something that is behind everything  I do. If it`s identity design, digital design, motion or film. What is branding then?

Did it all start in the caves of our earliest ancestors and their sign language? Or was it in the Wild West where cowboys ‘branded’ their cattle? Or did Josiah Wedgewood invent the modern concept of branding when he marked his tableware to command a premium in the 17th century?

There are many points of view on what defines the origins of branding, but in the widest sense it is as old as we people are, since it serves our human need for connection as well as distinction. And while our thinking about brands and the roles they play has evolved over more recent decades, most elements of them were there all along – they were just not being analyzed or consciously utilized. For instance, from the very early days a branded good has bestowed a certain aura of sophistication or status on its user. It just wasn’t marketed this way then, but rather sold on the merits of its functional superiority. Because most customers were more interested in factual aspects during times when their functional needs weren’t entirely satisfied yet.

Development off Branding 

Which brings us to an important point: the development of branding and marketing outlined below is by no means universal yet, nor is it irreversible. It relies on certain socioeconomic conditions. Not only through Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs do we know that people don’t migrate to the fulfillment of higher needs until their more immediate ones are met. The same holds true for the way we deal with brands. First of course, one must be in an economic position to indulge in ‘higher order’ products and brands. This is the case for many people in many developed societies, but certainly not for all. Also, historical and cultural differences play a big role. While, for instance, most of us in the West have been living in the ‘experience economy’ since the ’80s, many people in Asia or other parts of the world are just recently entering that stage. It is only in times and cultures of material security or surplus that we become more concerned with the immaterial aspects of our consumption. Only when we have everything we need do we start wondering about what else we desire.

Rune Wold

Author Rune Wold

More posts by Rune Wold