Enough With The Branding Already

Fast Company: Branding is the self-help industry of corporate America. Sure, it may be difficult to admit–perhaps even a bit embarrassing–but let’s face it: Both branding and self-help have experienced booming growth over the past decade, seemingly in reaction to rising levels of personal and professional insecurity. Both fields are populated with self-anointed experts. And both seem to follow the same publishing principal: The less there is to say, the more literature there must be.
Although sales of self-help books have doubled in the past four years, mental illness, obesity, drug addiction, and alcoholism are very much on the rise. Is the craziness fueling the literature or vice versa? Comedian George Carlin captured it when he said, “If you’re looking for self-help, why would you read a book written by somebody else? That’s not self-help, that’s help! There’s no such thing as self-help. If you did it yourself, you didn’t need help.” So go ahead, leave your shadow alone. Run a good business, and your brand will follow.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.