America: Our Love Affair With "Brand" Names…

15 07 2008

All this…

Equalls this….

photos courtesy of gtmcknight and shadphotos

*I must warn you, today’s post officially counts as a rant. I’m not in a bad mood, and I’m not having a bad day… but some days I feel the need to give it to you straight. It is what it is right? I’m not out to hurt your feelings, I just want you to ponder what I’m saying here…



1. kind, grade, or make, as indicated by a stamp, trademark, or the like: the best brand of coffee.
2. a mark made by burning or otherwise, to indicate kind, grade, make, ownership, etc.
3. a mark formerly put upon criminals with a hot iron.
4. any mark of disgrace; stigma.
5. branding iron.
6. a kind or variety of something distinguished by some distinctive characteristic: The movie was filled with slapstick—a brand of humor he did not find funny.
7. a burning or partly burned piece of wood.
8. Archaic. a sword. –verb (used with object)
9. to label or mark with or as if with a brand.
10. to mark with disgrace or infamy; stigmatize.
11. to impress indelibly: The plane crash was branded on her mind.
12. to give a brand name to: branded merchandise.
13. to promote as a brand name.

Of all these definitions taken from, I like #2 the most… ownership is the name of the game. All of these products, services, toys, gadgets, fashions, and trends are vying to own a share of YOU.

YOU are the stock…

YOU are the “marketplace”

YOU are supply and demand

YOU are the numbers that fly across the stock tickerboard.

Not some store, not some fictitious ‘average consumer’… YOU!

Nike, Sony, McDonalds, and Verizon dont exist without YOU. Visa, Exxon, Costco and Wegmans have nothing to sell if you dont buy…

Now I hear what you’re saying. “You dont honestly expect me to stop buying gas, groceries, grillers (30 Day Veggie Plan shout out!) and games, do you?!?

No, I dont. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make. What I’m trying to get at is that we’ve grown accustomed to buying from the highest bidder, not the highest provider of quality or value.

It’s the little things… next time you head to Walmart I dare you to buy the off-brand walmart version of everything you would normally buy “branded”. From toothpaste to toilet paper. No Mentadent, pick up the Equate Winterfresh toothpaste instead. No 4-pack of Sharmin toilet paper, pick up the Kirkland 12-pack of TP instead for the same price.

See, our problems are much larger than credit card debt, and the mortgage crisis. Our rampant consumerism and materialism is killing us in droves. We are choosing to stay this way. It’s an addiction much in the same way smoking is.

My wife and I just lost a friend to cancer. This time last year she had surgery for a brain tumor and she knew she had to give up smoking or die. She stopped for a while after learning the news… but more and more time passed and the cigarettes slowly started making appearances again. She could’nt put them down, even to extend her life.

How many financial ‘obligations’ (Netflix, Speigel, Verizon Fios’ 7000 channel package.) do you carry? Would anyone really notice if you switched to Payless dress sock instead of Kenneth Cole’s? Will you ever become a Billionaire by spending $300 on a Billionaire Boys Club wallet?

How long are we going to continue going broke making them rich?

How much longer are you willing to be “@Risk” like everyone else?

End of rant, you can all go back to “normal”… but why would you ever want to?


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