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The Brand Evolution

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Let's talk about "brand."

I would be hard-pressed to find a subject that is as misunderstood as is branding. This confusion is easy to understand since the term "brand" has evolved to mean different things over time.

Many marketers cite the first brand as being that used by ranchers to identify their cattle. I argue that - although it wasn't called a brand back then - the seals used by nobility on their correspondence may have been an earlier use of branding.

The branding of cattle or use of royal seals gave "brand" a physical presence, which has carried on in the minds of some today who believe that a brand is nothing more than a logo.

The next stage in branding evolution came along when corporations began creating their brands. They they owned their corporate reputations. Most of the rest of us had little evidence to disprove them and took it at face value that they were what they said they were.

Today, with the onset of digital and social plat…