Branding, business, and communism

“Here’s ‘why branding matters online’: Because COMMUNISM FAILED!”  This tweet (click here) by Bruce Philp captured my attention and is a sort of basis for today’s blog post.

Pictures courtesy of Museum of Communism

Under strict communism, the state owns everything.  Under Stalin’s rule, the only private businesses were run by individuals who could not hire anyone.  Since all businesses are owned by the government, there is little to no room for choice, branding, or differentiation.  If you’re going to build something that’s exactly the same as everyone else, why would it matter?  Where’s the competition?  The location and operation of a grocery store, for example, would rely very little on the principle of supply and demand.

In this interview, Gary Vaynerchuk relates that, if he had grown up in communist Russia and tried to become an entrepreneur, his only options were prison or death.

Choice is generally good for the economy and especially for people.  We are all endowed with free will.  What people buy or gravitate towards tends to be a form of self-expression … i.e. what they buy says something about them, their personality, their desires, their values, etc.  They are essentially branding themselves with a brand (just as long as they’re not branding themselves with a particular brand of branding iron).

On a concluding note, here is a comment by Bruce Philp that seems to nicely tie everything together …

Here’s what gets me up in the morning: I actually think that brands can save the world. They are the commercial equivalent of democracy… they make corporations publicly accountable for their behavior, and they make individuals declare their values when they buy things. They should be a powerful force for sustainability in this world, if we can just get marketers and consumers both to let go of their cynicism and face the responsibilities they each have in the system.

What are your thoughts about branding, business, and communism?  Fire away in the comments below.