Consumers today like to think they are immune to brands, but their behavior tells a different story. Businesses know that and are exploiting the new technologies to get us to buy into their brands.
Brands are dead. Advertising no longer works. Weaned on cable TV, the Internet, and other emerging technologies, the short-attention-span generation has become immune to marketing. Or so we're told.
New York Times Magazine columnist Rob Walker argues that we're experiencing a more important and lasting shift in the dynamic between consumer and consumed than these reductive conclusions would suggest.
Technology has created the possibility of advertising anywhere and everywhere, and people are embracing brands more than ever before - creating brands of their own, and participating in marketing campaigns for their favourite brands in unprecedented ways. Increasingly, motivated consumers are pitching in to spread the gospel "virally", whether by creating Internet video ads for Converse All Stars or "tagging" public structures with logos of skatewear companies. In the process, they have begun to funnel their cultural, political, and community activities through their connections with brands.
In I'm with the Brand, Walker introduces us to the creative marketers, entrepreneurs and artists who have found a way to thrive in this changing cultural landscape. Using profiles of brands old and new, including Timberland, Apple, Red Bull, iPod, and Nike, Walker demonstrates the ways in which buyers adopt products, not just as consumer choices, but as conscious expressions of their identities.
I'm With the Brand tells the story of how what we buy has increasingly has come to define who we are.
Rob Walker brilliantly deconstructs the Religion of Consumption. Love his column, couldn't put his book down. - Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy
Will inspire you to examine your shopping trolley a little closer in future - Buzz Magazine
An enthralling review of the developing relationships between consumers and what they consumer - Research magazine
Rob Walker writes the weekly column "Consumed," a blend of business journalism and cultural anthropology, which appears in The New York Times Magazine and in newspapers around the world. He has written for many publications, including The Nation, The Washington Post, Fortune, GQ, and Slate. He is also the author of Letters from New Orleans. He lives in Savannah, Georgia.