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Branding as a Negative Social Phenomenon

Background – Branding has been a significant tool for promoting products, but it is recently becoming a point of attack.

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Identification of problem – Several companies have come under intense criticism over their brands being negatively so powerful that they mislead the consumers, and this has sparked debate over their effects and influence to the society.

Thesis statement – This essay explores the primary reasons behind the issue of branding becoming prevalent, and maintains that branding is a negative social phenomenon.

Topic sentence – The reasons why branding has become a prevalent issue are intertwined, as the roles of brands to both the consumer and producer become altered.

  1. These roles played by brands are changing with the advancement in technology.
  2. Brands are increasingly becoming a vital aspect in many companies by representing a greater part of it’s value, and hence an attraction for generating more profits (Klein 2000).
  3. Since the standards of manufacturing have risen, products are becoming almost indistinguishable on the aspect of quality alone (Economist 2001), while business are facing increasing competition.
  4. Modern concept of branding has been widely misunderstood such that some marketers have misused it, while suspicion has grown among consumers.
  5. Consumers have hit back at the brands that they perceive to be less valued than what they represent.
  6. The debate on the role of branding is inevitable because brands are important to both consumers and producers.

Topic sentence – Branding has evolved over time to the extent that marketers are taking advantage of consumer’s vulnerability.

  1. Modern concept of branding has capitalized on the emotional component of consumers to create customer loyalty (Hamilton and Dennis, 2005; Holt, 2004).
  2. Unlike in the past where a simple logo represented quality and reliability of a product, today a brand is not necessary that.
  3. Some companies use branding to achieve quick sales without the intention of long term service to their customers.
  4. Hamilton and Dennis (2005) has illustrated the case of a company that duped its customers by claiming to offer more quality than its product could sustain.
  5. Customer loyalty through dubious brands is not possible (Economist 2001).
  6. Some ill-intended companies or those not well informed of the roles of brands use branding to dupe consumers.

Topic sentence – The case of branding has been made worse by companies attempts to outdo each other in getting customers to becomes emotionally attached to their products.

  1. Marketers have engaged in cultural marketing to capture more market and maintain existing customers.
  2. The formulation of brands publicity resulting from knowledge of the consumer behaviour has not necessary been the true representation of the product.

Topic sentence – Advertising is an essential aspect of branding, but that is increasingly being abused.

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  1. Many marketers are not considering the consumers real interests.
  2. Consumers receive advertisement messages they don’t need.
  3. The focus of marketers is to have the greatest appeal rather than inform the customers.
  4. Some companies are employing behaviour therapists just to identify the social needs in the society (Hamilton & Dennis 2005).
  5. Branding has been used as a way of enslaving the mind.

Topic sentence – Branding is also negative in the sense that it promotes certain aspects of life that do not necessary promote positive living.

  1. Branding has been a cause of distress
  2. Certain advertisements have portrayed certain products to possess quality that they actually don’t possess.
  3. Young people attached to Coke, but disregard Pepsi, which has good qualities (Keller 2008).
  4. Branding messages have sparked perceptions that have deprived people of their ability to reason positively.

Branding has been a significant aspect in businesses and recently its importance has risen, not only as a tool for promoting a product, but also as a point of attack. Several companies have come under intense criticism over their brands being negatively so powerful that they mislead the consumers. This has sparked debate over their effects and influence to the society, with proponents of branding viewing brands as a positive aspect. This essay explores the primary reasons that have made branding to become a prevalent issue, and maintains that branding is a negative social phenomenon.

The reasons why branding has become a prevalent issue are intertwined, as the roles of brands to both the consumer and producer become altered. The traditional expectation of brands by consumer was a sign of consistency and quality as well as a form of guarantee to the consumer (Economist 2001). Therefore, companies used brands to distinguish their products from those of their competitors. These roles played by brands are, nonetheless changing with the advancement in technology. Klein (2000) has noted that brands are increasingly becoming a vital aspect in many companies by representing a greater part of their value, and hence an attraction for generating more profits. Since the standards of manufacturing have risen, products are becoming almost indistinguishable on the aspect of quality alone (Economist 2001). Furthermore, business are increasingly facing more competition. Marketers, therefore, have had to add more innovation on how they popularize their brands to the consumers. Branding now involves touching on the emotions of the consumers, by using publicity techniques that make customers emotionally attached to a product. This concept has been widely misunderstood, with some marketers misusing it, while suspicion has grown among consumers. The result is that consumers have hit back at the brands that they perceive to be less valued than what they claim to be, but companies have had to respond to ensure that they maintain customer loyalty. While branding remains vital to a company (Keller 2008), it can also be damaging to them. Therefore, the debate on the role of branding is inevitable because brands are important to both consumers and producers. However, modern concept of branding has become a negative social phenomenon.

Branding has evolved over time to the extent that marketers are taking advantage of consumer’s vulnerability. The modern concept of branding has capitalized on the emotional component of consumers to create customer loyalty (Hamilton and Dennis, 2005; Holt, 2004). Unlike in the past where a simple logo represented quality and reliability of a product, today a brand is not necessary that. While some companies may be honest on the claims about their brands, some use branding to achieve quick sales without the intention of long term service to their customers. Hamilton and Dennis (2005) has illustrated the case of a company that duped its customers by claiming to offer more quality than its product could sustain. Even though it is not practical for companies to sustainably maintain customers loyalty through dubious brands (Economist 2001), some ill-intended companies or those not well informed of the roles of brands to consumers use branding to dupe consumer to buy their products.

The case of branding has been made worse by companies attempts to outdo each other in getting customers to become emotionally attached to their products. With the increasing number of same kind of products and services in the market, competition among companies has risen. In their attempt to capture more market and maintain existing customers in their companies, marketers have engaged themselves into cultural marketing. They have focused on understanding the behaviour of their consumers with the intention of formulating advertisement messages to get the attention of a particular market. Understanding a market is essential (Keller 2008), but the formulation of brands publicity resulting from knowledge of the consumer behaviour has not necessary been the true representation of the product. This has made people to consume things that they did not need.

Advertising is an essential aspect of branding, but that is increasingly being abused. Many marketers are designing advertisements that are meant to attract consumers without considering the consumers real interests. Consumers are bombarded with advertisement messages of the products that they do not need. These messages are everywhere, from building walls and drive ways to the billboards and other forms of media. They have focused on making the best advertisements that will have the greatest appeal rather than ones that will inform the customers about the real qualities of particular products. Therefore, unlike the traditional role of advertisement, today advertisement messages are not as informing (Keller 2008). In fact, companies have gone as far as employing behaviour therapists whose work is to identify the social needs in the society (Hamilton & Dennis 2005). They have subsequently utilized that information in attracting people to purchase their products, especially since these people have become so preoccupied with their work that they have no time to find out about particular products. Branding, therefore has been used as a way of enslaving the mind. Hamilton and Dennis (2005) illustrates how today’s advertisement attracts consumer while attempting to popularize company’s brands: thus they do that by, creating desires, intensifying the feeling of deprivation and hastening obsolescence. People suffering from affluenza do not know what they want, yet want everything. More choice helps create new desires (p.40).

Branding is also negative in the sense that it promotes certain aspects of life that do not necessary mean good life. For instance, certain advertisements have portrayed four wheeled drive vehicles and safe and good for the on-road situation, but in reality this is not so (Hamilton & Dennis 2005). Keller (2008) also notes that people, more so the young generation, have had so much attachment to the popular drink, Coke, to the extent that they cannot realize the similar quality possessed by Pepsi. Moreover, advertisers have often associated skinny women with a particular class and lifestyle, which may be not so in real life. These messages have instilled certain perceptions in the mind of people, and diverted their deprived them of the ability to reason positively. Branding has in fact in some occasion provoked feelings of distress to a section of the population.

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Reference

Economist (2001) It is claimed that consumers are being manipulated by big corporations and their brands. The economist. The economist Newspaper Limited, London.

Hamilton, C & Denniss, R 2005, Affluenza: When too much is never enough. Australia: McPherson’s Printing Group.

Holt, D 2004, How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding. Harvard Business School Press.

Keller, KL 2008, Strategic brand management: Building, measuring, and managing brand equity. 3rd edn. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Klein, Naomi (2000) No logo, Canada: Random House,

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1. StudyCorgi. "Branding as a Negative Social Phenomenon." November 11, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/branding-as-a-negative-social-phenomenon/.


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