[grid::brand] I dont want to be branded

This is my first Grid Blog, as part of the global grid blog experiment this month, labelled with a [grid::brand] so that it can be tracked. Thanks to Ashley Benigno for suggesting the Grid blog idea, for Bob Carlton for suggesting with get with the program and for Steve Taylor who suggested that fans of Jesus do a Advent Grid blog – something that will start on Dec 7th.
What do I have to say about Brand.
This:
Although many people accuse us of being identified by brand, I and my many millions of people screwed up enough to think like me, feel that we are identified more by lack of brand than brand.
I’ll say it a different way.
What I dont choose identifies me more than what I choose. I dont want to be known as the Puma man or the Nike man, but rather a man. i would rather avoid the pitfalls of branding and be identified by who I am as a naked man.
Yes, take your snapshot when i am in the bath, because this is really who I am. Unencumbered by the labels and forced images of marketing people. This is how i want to be remembered. This is how I want to meet people, meet God, meet death – UNBRANDED – someone unidentified by branding.
Once I went to a church in California that suggested we remove all brand labels before entering communion. We took off our jackets and shoes. I was glad i wasnt wearing my Hugo Boss underwear!!!!!
Pete Greig in England (24-7prayer.com) told me that they had a No Logo service and it was really helpful.
The best service was the Brands Service at Grace Church, London. I happened to be in London that weekend and got to particpate in it. I blogged some details about the Big Macfession, and the What Would Jesus Wear exercise is posted on the web.
Naomi Klein, author of No Logo, is the Ralph Nader of the emerging generation. The difference is that Ralph was more concerned with personal safety and Naomi is concerned with the good of the planet and its population worldwide.
Who said that the emerging generation are consumeristic and materialistic? (Actually, I could name a few people, but wont do so here). Take a look at our lifestyle – what we refuse to buy, our disdain for labels. My friend Doug Pagitt won’t buy anything made from certain Asian countries since it might be contributing to abuse and underage workers. This is his spiritual service to God. More of this in my article “Buffy The Backside Slayer”.

Branding. I hate it. But I also like quality. Sometimes I buy based on branding, but I wish the label wasn’t there.

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name “Precious” :-)

12 Comments

  • Dude – (re: Apple) he said something about “quality” remember? ha.
    On the branding thing – this may go against the grain, but I’m not really concerned that the world brands things, or that marketing happens and we buy things as a result. We just live in a world like that. As long as it doesn’t rule us, I’m sure we’ll be fine. So, I just buy, use and wear things I need or like, brand or no brand.
    Oh, and Andrew – brutha – change Darren’s link in your blogroll or Australia’s gonna invade Prague I think! Aaagghhhh!

  • I made the ‘Apple’ comment to point out that putting Apple links on your blog is any different that saying your a Nike man–despite the claim to ‘quality’. It goes beyond buying a Mac because it is a quality machine to marketing for it; which is no different than putting a Barbe t-shirt on your little girl. The only difference is a perceived one-I like Macs, hate Barbie.
    The issue Andrew raises is really difficult and it is really hard to figure out when you are falling into the Marketing trap.
    It is my feeling that anytime we identify ourselves with a corporate logo, we become their marketing agent. This is when we are seduced. And if you are going to make statements about branding and consumerism, I feel like it is an apt point to say that we are all sinners in this.
    All of us are walking contradictions–for it is impossible separate ourselves from consumerism and still be ‘in the world’. I think Jordon Coopers post captures this frustration.
    http://www.jordoncooper.com/2003_12_01_archives.html#107031090459978787
    It does not matter if it is a quality product like Apple or crap like the Cat In The Hat Burger King meal. For each consumer will give you different reasons for publicizing why they use a certain product.
    Association with Apple sends a powerful message as to ‘who’ Andrew Jones is–he uses Mac which immediately associates him with Ridley Scott’s infamous 1984 Apple commercial:
    http://www.duke.edu/~tlove/mac.htm
    He is associated with cool, techy rebellion–but it is still a commercial message no different than Nike, VW, Wal-Mart or Gap’s singing Christmas carols.
    To say there is a difference, I feel like is to have it both ways. There are no exceptions–Apple is no different than McDonald’s–both are commercial enterprises who want you to sell their products for them.
    This is part of the seduction of commercialism; we want to be seduced. And we are and will continue to be…

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  • Hi everyone.
    Thanks- I updated Darren yesterday.
    Regarding me being a marketing sucker and sinner – yes – we all are, me included and i do like my apple computer.
    Pray for me that one day I might be able to cast out the Apple demon and find life acceptable using a PC.

  • hey … wait a minute … i’m on the blogroll twice, too, but the ‘futurist guy’ one doesn’t go anywhere. am i, like, a half-wit, half-wanted, or half-important? whatever whatever

  • >Pray for me that one day I might be able to cast
    >out the Apple demon and find life acceptable
    >using a PC.
    To mis-quote Murder in the Cathedral: the last temptation is the greatest treason, to do the wrong thing for the right reason…
    : )

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