How Mavericks Became Zombies
by Betty Fussell
Names matter, as the marketer of any brand name knows well. But let’s separate living brands from dead ones. Dead ones are zombie brands that pretend to be live ones, that suggest the practices of the originating company but conceal the changes executed by new owners who hide behind the old familiar name. Are we still saving the rainforests when we eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? Not since it was bought by Unilever.
From the current marketing of brands you’d never know that the word “branding” comes from the practice of burning a mark with a hot iron into a hide, bovine or human, to claim ownership. It might be a cow, it might be a slave. A burned-in brand was supposed to mean “my property.” (MORE)