Branding is the self-help industry of corporate America. Sure, it may be difficult to admit--perhaps even a bit embarrassing--but let's face it: Both branding and self-help have experienced booming growth over the past decade, seemingly in reaction to rising levels of personal and professional insecurity. Both fields are populated with self-anointed experts. And both seem to follow the same publishing principal: The less there is to say, the more literature there must be.
Bill Schley, author of Why Johnny Can't Brand (Portfolio, November 2005), says branding "is not what you say but what you do." But what a company does is already, well, what it does! To brand, in a corporate sense, is no more a verb than "to gorgeous." A brand is a result, not a tactic. One cannot go about branding an organization or a product or a service; the organization, product, or service is what creates the brand. In a brilliant twist, the experts have bottled an end and sold it as a means.
Amen, Brother Conley.