The Absurd Power of Branding


Share on LinkedIn

stephencolbertRecently Stephen Colbert took aim a what he referred to as the absurd power of branding. In truth I believe he, as others do, has mistaken celebrity with branding. His particular rant was about Kanye West’s new clothing line with A.P.C., and specifically his $120 Hip Hop T-Shirt. The shirt is described as: “Collaboration between A.P.C. and Kanye West. Very loose T-shirt in Egyptian cotton. Short sleeves. Ribbing at neckline. Reinforced neckline and shoulders. ‘A.P.C. KANYE’ silk screened inside neckline. Washed Egyptian cotton jersey. 100% Cotton.”

A quick online search found Egyptian Cotton Shirts, and for $23.50 you can have what appears to be an identical shirt. Appears is the operative word. What makes one shirt worth almost $100 more than the other?

One shirt has Kayne silk screened inside the neckline and the other doesn’t. Is that worth $100? Apparently. Is that branding value? No, it’s celebrity value. And as long as Kanye West is a valuable celebrity, that premium can hold.

But, celebrity value can be fleeting. Lance Armstrong wrist bands anyone?

Don’t confuse celebrity with brand. Is a celebrity a brand? Sometimes. Can a brand be a celebrity in its own right? Occasionally. But the two concepts are different, and marketers who miss that do so at their own peril.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mitchell Goozé
Mitchell Goozé is the president and founder of Customer Manufacturing Group. His broad scope of business experience ranges from operations management in established firms, to start-up and turn-around situations and mergers. A seasoned general manager, he has headed divisions of large corporations and been CEO of independent firms, always focusing the company strategy on the most important person in business . . . the customer.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here