On Classical ‘Mechanical’
Description of Brands

Published by Jan Knap, M.D. on September 15, 2020.

It is well known that in branding—as usually practiced at present time—people in charge understand and manage brands from a very mechanical perspective. For them, it feels almost intuitive to see brands as something of matter—something tangible they can truly grasp. It gives them confidence that they can behave and act as legitimate brand creators or brand builders.

There is a simple reason why this classical mechanical approach makes so much sense, especially in branding. Marketing people love intuitive, easy-to-understand and fast-to-execute rules and tools. Besides, they actually believe that branding works this way.

Tendency to describe and manage brands as classical mechanical objects seems to be primarily intuitive. That’s why people in branding use the term a brand without any deep knowledge of what it is. It’s funny how easily they can ignore their own ignorance about brands.

"Stubborn persistence
on mechanical description of brands
is the biggest failure of branding
industry today."

Take, for example, the reciprocal relation of a company and a product. When we talk about Apple’s iPhone 11 we intuitively assume that both the company (Apple, Inc.) and the product (iPhone 11) are simultaneously existing material objects. We actually imagine both objects as two sides of the same coin.

Yet, it can be proven by simple logic that our intuition is wrong. A company (e.g. Apple, Inc.) must exist first to manufacture a product (e.g. iPhone 11), not the other way around. Causality principle must still hold true regardless of our purposely misleading intuition. But in real life we still instinctively trust our intuition far more than logical reasoning.

It’s why people in branding use this term—a brand—when they talk about a company or refer to a product. This intuitive behaviour simply indicates that they don’t know what a brand is. And by sticking "brand" labels on anything else, they actually admit that they are the elephant in the room.

Stubborn persistence on mechanical description of brands is the biggest failure of branding industry today. To pretend that Earth is still flat is no longer possible. We already know better—based on science and all satellites and space probes and telescopes in deep space running the show.

"Nobody knows what
a brand is."

Let’s start again by stating a simple truth: Nobody knows what a brand is...