Week 11 – Branding
*Brands are no small business they’re BIG
• brands translate into value which translates into FINANCIAL
Question: What is a brand?
Term – Commodity Fetishism
How is “Brand Value” created?
Term - Post-Modern Branding
What is a BRAND?
• Brands are meant to enable consumers to….
1. ACTm FEEL and BE IN A PARTICULAR WAY through CONSUMING a
2. We become a part of a brand
So what do brands do?
• Brands work very well as platoforms for action that enable us as
consumers to take part of production of value: where an
experience, a shared emotion or a sense of community is
developed by a brand
• The “production” of value here results, in part, from our efforts
as consumers to CREATE MEANING with brands
What else do they do? – Brands create STORIES
• a brand invites us to TAKE A POSITION IN THE STORY OF THE
PRODUCT (it’s a pure phony story and not by any means a story
• Brands tell stories of fun, community, belonging and most
TERM – Commodity Fetishism Fetishism: a psychological overinvestment of meaning and value
Commodity Fetishism: the assignment of meaningful, emotional
qualities to products; these products have NO relation to these
QUALITIES (a concept of Karl Marx)
Example of C.F ~ consumers of luxury brands which signify
DISTINCTION; sports cars as REBELLION or PEPSI as being YOUTHFUL
But what do ads serve as to do for us consumers? They exploit
fetishism of commodities
Fetishized Commodities and Meaning
The VW Beetle ad which is placed on Abbey Road in England, the
background of the ad is full of VW vehicles. The placement of the VW
cards in the middle of the road is similar to that of the band members
from the beatles group.
Brands must COMMUNICATE MEANING..QUICKLY!
The brand: Aunt Jemima
What the brand emphasized: faceless corporations
• At the end of the day the brand must communicate meanings
CHOSEN by companies where we must be able to decipher their
meanings quickly without a logo
“stop rationalizing the dream”
Twitchell’s “Reflections” – based on the reading
• Quote: as objects of our dreams became MATERIAL and not
ETHEREAL, we started to SPIRITUALIZE the SECULAR (2009, 323)
• Romanticism: is about the enchantment of real life magic
technologies, magic product. Example of this: the western and