May 31, 2003
Digital Genres II

Rob Moore on Branding

Entertaining dicussion of Beaudrillard and frictionless identity/brand.

Citation of Castranova and economy.

Suggestion that something special about earth and a mode of semiotics that identifies idea and things can shed light on this. Pierce himself works in this way. That something can be both a material item and a sign does not diminish its sign-ness.

Brands and branding as signs of value.

Products, services, experience, communication, politics and polity are all branded. acad lit is silent on this, cultural crit talks about branding and advertising as the same, though in actuality they are linked but not the same.

Advertisements offer stories, brands are a dualistic sign and thing. However, branding is changing, connected to service econ cange and tech, change.

Most brands fail, of course. The tales are only told about the successful ones.

Brands as enablers of consumption and as extenders of corporate identity.

Three pathologies of branding. genericide, ingredient and viral branding.

Genericide is when a product - legally - speaks to a product class rather than a product in particular, resulting in cancellation of TM (c.f. Kleenex, etc). Index of profound success that kills the process of marketing. Transformation into a commodity.

Ingredient branding, the product is absorbed into another (nutrasweet --> pepsi, Intel inside, etc). Input components exposed to the consumer by means of a brand. "The intangibility problem". Company must display the value of the component product. Problems which arise are the leeching of the value of the containing product into the contained product.

Viral marketing, it appears the product is instantiated in the process of the marketing. Hotmail, with .sig, each act of communication markets the product itself.

Brand as unstable conjunction of name and thing. And in online world, names become the communication of identity to others and to the system, even where supplied with synthetic bodies.

[how does this interrelate to AKMA and Trevor's senses of the body?]

Interaction in virtual worlds introduces increased semiotic vulnerability (a single point of failure around the name) (again, is name == identity a vulnerability in the argument as well? Do we not know one another by the activities and behaviors online?).

Close in case of stolen identity into online theft in Ultima Online.

Posted by esinclai at May 31, 2003 02:17 PM |