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Friday, March 19, 2010

The Brand that Was You

This blog installment means neither to praise nor dis the burgeoning craft of branding. What a growth industry it has become! Just like power tools, ping pong balls, universities, and New Age retreats, individuals have their own brands too. What hopes I had for the improvement of my own personal brand 13 years ago after discovering Tom Peters’ heady article, The Brand Called You !

But even though I’ve repeatedly let myself down, it’s a comfort to grasp at future opportunities for revisionism, if not in life, then afterwards via my local newspaper’s obituary column. For several years, The Daily Hampshire Gazette has turned to reader-penned obituaries. In the title line, beside the honoree’s name, the author gets to distill a life’s impact in a word or two:

Here are my own favorites from the past half year. (I’ve changed the names and ages of the innocent, but left the brands intact.):

9. Eunice Banks, 83, Very active in Haydenville church

8 . Biff Webster, 57, “Totally Perf” person

7. William Langley, Lionel Trains Enthusiast

6. Jerold Hadley, 91, Promoted Local Asparagus

5. Kathleen O’Day, 96, 6th Generation Vermonter

4. Martha Wobst, 72, Loved Clocks

3. Consuela Juarez, 74, of Texas

2. Lisa Koch, 86, Hummel Collector

1. Webster O’Brien, 81, Loved to Cut the Grass

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've always liked the idea of having my obit accompanied by a photograph of a sperm about to fertilize an egg with the caption, "Shown here in an earlier photo." H