I’m told that in accounting, a brand is defined as an ‘intangible asset', yet can be viewed as the most valuable asset on a corporation's balance sheet. And the key definition that ‘brand’ is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers, means that photographers have to be very careful with ‘branding' in any photography.
Commissioned to photograph a number of key executives with branding on a repeat in the background of the shoot, the problem was that the heads of the sitters then obscured parts of the famous brand name. We had to start again. It perhaps would have been better not to go for a repeat for the brand name. But saved by the magic of photoshop, we could put anything anyone wanted in the background.
I like the idea I've been told a number of businesses enshrine that the brand name has an identity all of its own, and we are just passing through, keeping that name going. Here’s an interesting phrase that we are all but ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’. Some great brands of course have appeared very recently, and rapidly risen to be global prominence. They may well be giants for now, but will there be generations of people standing on their shoulders, or will they quietly subside as rapidly as they evolved?
Some might maintain that there is often little to differentiate between several types of products in the 21st century, hence branding is among a few remaining forms of being able to differentiate between competing products. Arriving at customs at Nairobi airport I was asked about my many cameras. "Would I be going on safari?" I’m a photographer working at the SaabCo bottling plant. They looked blankly at me. The Coca Cola Company, I said. Broad smiles. "Cocaa Colahhh, of course, thorough you go. Sir."