In the book, Obsessive Branding Disorder, Lucas Conley writes that In Soviet Russia, most products were labelled with only a short description and a numerical code. But in spite of that, wily citizens would match the codes with products they liked. They became sophisticated at learning which factories produced preferred products and matched those factories with their numerical codes. For instance, when someone discovered a particularly tasty food, they would jot down the code and even with no advertising or promotion, that factory’s products achieved “brand” status.
Brands persist because of choice. As long as people can choose they’ll pick one brand of toothpaste over another. The question is, what are you doing to make your product, your organization, or yourself stand out from the crowd? What are you doing to get your “numerical code” jotted down somewhere so people will return again and again?
Brands persist, because as Conley reminds us, even in desperate circumstances like Communist Russia, people still want to choose.