A contributing writer for Fast Company, Lucas Conley is an experienced journalist with an eye for stories that change how we see the world. Widely published in a number of fields, his work has appeared in The Boston Globe, SPIN, and ESPN: The Magazine, among other publications.
Topic: The Story Behind Obsessive Branding Disorder
Lucas Conley: The book, if you want to bring it to an elevator pitch, is basically about how the excesses of marketing are having a corrosive effect on both how we form communities and how we shape our own identities and really how society is affected by marketing and looks at the trend of branding goods, which started with consumer packaged goods like goods for Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati, soaps and shampoos, moving all the way to people now brand cities, they brand themselves. This idea of marketing has become infused with the way we think about ourselves and kind of hangs a price tag on everything in the world around us. I recognized this and started to watch for it when I was working at Fast Company as a reviewer. So I would review books and each week the books would come through and sometimes as many as five or six a day and probably three branding books a week at certain points back in 2005, 2006, and there was every flavor of branding from primal branding to lovemarks, all these different strategies. And it became apparent to me that executives at these major companies were thinking more about their brands than they were about the products or the services that they were supposed to be offering, more about the cult branding mentality or the kind of desire to form a community or a lifestyle than any type of desire to serve the customers’ needs. And that ultimately resulted in the book. I went out and began investigating, looking at the kind of channels of branding and really where marketing was exploring new technologies and kind of getting in to more interactive work with consumers, word of mouth marketing, neuromarketing, sensory branding. Some of those fields are explored in the book as well.
Recorded on: 7/23/08