The Brilliance and branding

Blogs are still an incredible source of joy for me. That’s why I do this everyday!

I recently rediscovered The Brilliance, which I first came across in 2009 during a visual computer science lecture, run by Benjamin Edgar, Chuck Anderson, and the late Virgil Abloh. I’ve been diving into its archives from the late 2000s. (Check out Abloh’s t-shirt for Colette! )

Here’s a great piece by Rob Walker that I found through there. It’s curious to consider what’s changed and what remains the same. My favorite excerpt:

“This might seem strange, since most of us think of branding as a thoroughly mainstream practice: huge companies buying advertising time during the Super Bowl to shout their trademarked names at us is pretty much the opposite of authentic or edgy expression. But branding is more complicated than that. It is really a process of attaching an idea to a product. Decades ago that idea might have been strictly utilitarian: trustworthy, effective, a bargain. Over time, the ideas attached to products have become more elaborate, ambitious and even emotional. This is why, for example, current branding campaigns for beer or fast food often seem to be making some sort of statement about the nature of contemporary manhood. If a product is successfully tied to an idea, branding persuades people — consciously or not — to consume the idea by consuming the product. Even companies like Apple and Nike, while celebrated for the tangible attributes of their products, work hard to associate themselves with abstract notions of nonconformity or achievement. A potent brand becomes a form of identity in shorthand.”

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