I continue writing this series of blogs partially for me and partially for you, the reader. As I share my experiences and thoughts with you, I have to conceive what I am writing. Most of my writing is just my thoughts flowing onto the paper as it comes into my head, which sometimes makes me take a deep look at who I am. Only after I have written do I do a little editing for grammar and flare to make it a little entertaining. This all has little to nothing to do with minimalism, but it sets the stage for what I’m going to write about today.
Today I want to talk about how we brand ourselves. There are a couple of ways that can be defined as personal branding. For example, if I describe a flamboyant piano player you might think Liberace, or Elton John. Both of these people can be associated, or branded, as flamboyant piano players. The other way is to associate ourselves with product brands. We really don’t think much of this when we do it, but we do spend a lot of time and effort in this regard, and I am just as guilty.
I sit here today writing this article on my MS Surface Pro, using data from my Apple iPhone, wearing stylish Keen sandals, and a Harley Davidson t-shirt. Just so you get the picture straight, me, a minimalist, I’m sitting here with about $3k worth of electronics, $100+ sandals, and a $35 t-shirt. In a nutshell…..I suck as a minimalist. What the heck am I thinking? But let me be straightforward, I am just as susceptible to corporate propaganda as most everybody else. I’m sitting here thinking how cool I am by wearing a Harley Davidson t-shirt. People must think that I’m sooooo cool, right?
I must admit that all of the products that I just described are of high quality, and they will last a long time. But do I really need the branded name on the product to show people who I am, or that I’m cool? I’m sure that nobody thinks that I’m cool, or that the t-shirt that I wear defines who I am. As I stated in the opening of this blog, I sometimes take a deep look at who I am when I write this. With this in mind, should I get rid of the Harley Davidson t-shirt? I probably will not get rid of it, but I may not ever buy one again. I have many other choices to buy quality goods, but a t-shirt shouldn’t cost $35.
So what is your Brand? For whose brand are you an advertisement? To what brand are you a slave?
Think about. How much are you spending to advertise for somebody else? Do you have a purse with the “LV” logo on the side? Yes, it may be a quality purse, but would you have paid that exorbitant price if it didn’t display the “LV” logo? Are you a slave to the logo?
I dare myself, and you, to unbrand. Stop buying stuff that is an advertisement for somebody else. Brands do not make me cool, and I’m sure that seeing you wearing a brand won’t change what I think about you. Why the heck should we pay outrageous amounts of money for stuff that advertises somebody else’s product when other quality product cost less?