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The trivialization of the term branding and its real meaning.




In the ancient Nordic language, Scandinavian, the word "brandr" means "to burn." Originally, a brand was a piece of burned wood and later described as being a torch. In the 1500s, it became common in cattle branding in order to distinguish and identify property. From the beginning, branding was all about making your mark, both literally and figuratively. Each brand was unique to the cattle farm itself. This was well described in a recent article called "A brief history of branding", by Aviva M. Cantor. 

Since that period the idea has always been to express value and differentiation. The brand separated the wheat from the chaff, but for that purpose there was a deep process to make a mark. The action of branding burned, and left the exposure of the logo in the form of a scar. 

In subliminal terms we can transport this burnt sign to the branding process we know today and which has an existential and strong relationship with the old process. I say "sign" because a brand is the representation of a symbol and not the symbol itself. The symbol is within the essence and in order to find it, a true and profound experience is necessary. 

Carl Gustav Jung in his work "The man and his symbols" said that “Man uses the written or spoken word to express what he wants to convey. His language is full of symbols, but he also often makes use of signs or images that are not strictly descriptive. Some are simple abbreviations, others are known trademarks, patented medicine names, currency and insignia. Although they have no intrinsic meaning, they have achieved, by their widespread use or deliberate intent, a recognized meaning. They are not symbols: they are signs and serve only to indicate the objects to which they are connected. What we call symbol is a term, a name or even an image that may be familiar to us in daily life, although it has special connotations beyond its obvious and conventional meaning."

This special connotation is the true Koh-i-Noor diamond. Clearly the vulgarization of the term branding began from the moment that consultancies started to look for signs instead of symbols, which makes it impossible to come across something extraordinary, which is the real purpose of a brand’s existence. 

Our work is to incessantly search for this symbol, considering the sign to be only a final expression. The symbol starts from the unconscious, there is no other way to do this, neither by data, nor by trends. These are just tools that align intuitive thinking to quantitative rationality, of undeniable importance, but not crucial in determining a brand’s nature.

It is by accessing and interpreting these true messages that comes from within. That is why our work is of great responsibility.

The name branding has a more relevant value than what is presented in the market today. The superficiality of the demands ends up being led to shallow offers and this is serious. Great brands end up losing their relevance and integrity by following diagnoses based only on trends, market waves and massive data. 

It seems that today the term "Good Branding" is trying to make a distinction between real branding and superficial branding.

In my opinion, there is branding and no-branding, purely.

We have the task and the commitment to contribute to the growth of businesses and companies, for this we need to have the ability to discover these jewels that live in the soul of each brand. 

Brands are human. They are created by people to serve people. When we take companies away from their true symbolism and represent them through only new signs, we lose the opportunity to help them in the process of transformation and business valuation. To grow, we need to be constantly looking inside.  

As C.G. Jung said: "Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside wakes up"

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Fire Can Burn  - Sartre Gumo GmbH 2020 ©All rights reserved 

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