From the mark of a maker to a
symbol of desire, and from
mass-market to customization
There is a reason for everything and by understanding at least some of the background to a concept, it becomes much easier to grasp and to adapt to our own circumstances. The purpose of this chapter is to give some of that background.
Brands are not a recent invention, nor a marketing luxury. They are as old as our writing and as necessary as any other element of a company's, or individual's, commercial activities.
Originally a brand was just the mark of a maker. To identify who had made a product, you 'branded' the goods with your name. The word 'brand' itself comes from the Scandinavian word for 'fire' (¼ brand) and 'branding' is literally to mark something with fire, just like they used to do with cattle in the Wild West.
Whether you were Antonio Stradivari of Cremona making the best violins (the Stradivarius) the world has seen or Henry Ford making the cheapest cars the world had ever seen, the brand was the name of the maker.