May 29, 2007

White Smoke & Mirrors

A recent mail from Brandchannel included news on a charity, Habitat For Humanity, and a piece on some of the branding issues facing private military firms (old-fashioned mercenaries to you and me).

I'm not sure whether the juxtaposition was deliberate or not but it reminded me of one of the things I almost always have to address with a new client: the notion that branding is somehow a cloak and dagger activity, some machiavellian art practised behind smoke and mirrors.

Whilst it robs my craft of some of its mystique, I'm quick to point out that branding is a tool like any other in business and one that can be put to work selling deep-fried food to overweight children just as readily as it can work on behalf of a homeless project. In the right, or the wrong hands, it's a powerful tool for positioning and for change and whilst I'm against the NRA on issues of gun-control, I do believe that brands are a generally a good thing (they make our choices simpler for one thing) and that every business-owner should have one.

But then, you'd expect me to say that!

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