The history of branding

As someone who makes a living creating direct mail and other forms of direct response advertising, I don’t spend much time thinking about branding. In fact, I’ve developed a reputation for ignoring branding guidelines when I think they’re getting in the way of making sales.

I’ve embarrassed my share of marketing managers with ugly direct mail that beats the snot out of more attractive, heavily branded mail pieces. I even got one product manager fired when a direct mail package I created to launch a computer game produced such high response that it shattered corporate records and shamed every other manager in the company.

But I have no beef with branding. In fact, I find it fascinating. One site I recently discovered on the history of branding provides fascinating details about many of the most famous and successful brands. This is one of those sites you have to bookmark for future reference.

Sometime I’ll elaborate on why I think that branding and direct marketing are not incompatible, as long as you understand the purpose and proper application of each.

Note: The site I’m linking to should really be named “The History of Brands,” rather than “The History of Branding.” It doesn’t discuss branding as a strategy. Still, it’s interesting.

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2 Responses to “The history of branding”

  1. daniel @ omstrategy on December 8th, 2007 8:54 am

    hey, Dean, how are you?

    I like the honesty of this & I look forward to your post on the cross-over between branding & direct sales.

    Branding really is interesting – especially so now because of the web: Traditionally ‘tight control’ was a big part of branding, which just isn’t possible any more. Just a quick example – How do you control someone’s perception of your laptop range when anyone can read thousands of honest, first-person reviews, with unlit photos, &c? An exciting question & it’s great to see the way big ‘brands’ are tackling it – especially the ones that are moving away from ‘ultra-tight control’.

    Thanks again for the nice piece – look forward to reading more.


  2. The Escape Design & Web Agency Blog : Blog Archive : The History of Brands on December 10th, 2007 4:14 am

    [...] Direct Creative, comes a link to this interesting site – The History of Branding – with some interesting little [...]

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