Wired Magazine remarks that branding isn’t what it used to be. Thanks to better informed buyers (yet another second-order effect thanks to the Internet), “brands have little or no value independent of what a company actually does”. Consumers will extoll or punish a brand for the quality of their current offerings, not out of blind devotion for what they supposedly stand for. (Outside of fanboyism, anyway.)
Cory Doctorow writes that trademarks became less for our benefit and more for brandishing, well, branding. Trademarks were initially intended to protect the consumer from counterfeit knockoffs, but are nowadays increasingly used by their owners as a legal weapon to crush competitors and consumer dissidence.
Hugh MacLeod remarks that “branding is dead” and that it is a “EGOlogy, not an ecology”. Godfrey Parkin retorts in the comments that it’s the fact it is an EGOlogy for the company, rather than catering to the consumer, that is the problem.