High-minded people are often instinctively suspicious of the idea of brands. Brands can seem hateful on so many grounds: because of their maddening ubiquity (they surprise us on a mountain walk or on arrival in a new country where we’d gone specifically to experience a different culture); because they squeeze out smaller independent alternatives to which they are often the inferiors; or because they radiate values which appear to us fake, exaggerated or plain daft. It’s natural to suppose that we would, ideally, live in an entirely unbranded world.
You will recall the rather sad story of Abercrombie & Fitch. The once all-powerful fashion retailer declined as a result of ageing customers, bizarre management edicts and over exposure. The company has endured 11 consecutive quarters of declining sales and, in perhaps the most painful blow yet, recently recorded the lowest ever score on the annual […]