LIVING IN A BRANDED WORLD
It seems we can never escape brands.“Brands are the tools by means of which identity, social relations and shared experiences are constructed.” (Arvidsson, 2005) If we concentrate on the space around us, consider that everything we look at has an owner, label and trademark that makes it specific to a single company. I am writing this entry on WordPress, using Google Chrome, on an Apple Macbook, with an Intel Processor . That’s four different brands and I haven’t left the device. Brands are everywhere and whether we like it or not, we can’t get away from them.
“Brand culture” is addictive and owning the right brands has an impact on the way people perceive us. Are brands a reflection of our own identity? The clothes we wear and the products we use have been a subconscious choice in terms of a reflection of who we desire to be. By saturating ourselves with brands they gain an invisible hold and presence over our lives, controlling the image we create of ourselves. The brands we choose demonstrate a whole variety of personal qualities; our wealth, style, interests and even profession.
If we live in a fully branded world is there any limit as to what can be branded? Once something is branded it becomes owned by an individual or a cooperation, therefore, does it seem right that the basic human right of water should be branded and even more so sold? By branding a natural resource that everyone on earth has a right to, we create a boundary as to who can use it and unfortunately we live in a world governed by money.
Religion is based upon individual belief and personal reflection. By branding a religion we are restricting its meaning by creating universal guidelines as to what we should believe in. This goes against the foundations of religion.
I don’t think we will ever break out of the hold that brands have, our reliance is too strong but we must learn to make good decisions as to which brands we choose in terms of morals and ethics.