Brand free

You may already have read about Neil Boorman who lived brand-free for a year to rid himself of what he called ‘obsessive branding disorder’.

He writes, “I began to realise the more money I spent, the more miserable I became. With mounting debts and plummeting self-esteem, I pledged to do away with these emotional crutches and attempted to live a year of my life brand-free.”

Neil’s is obviously an extreme case, but it makes for an interesting discussion starter. What is a brand? Does Tesco value clothing not carry a message just as powerfully as designer togs? Isn’t the power of the message solely in the eye and mind of the beholder? What about the conflict between going ‘brand-free’ for a year and then promoting a book about it?

He concludes: By placing less status and emotional value on the things that we buy, we free ourselves from mindless consumption, allowing us more time and money for things which we know, deep down, give us greater contentment.

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