“It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about
myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though
I had a right to be here.”
— James Baldwin, Collected Essays
I love your silences, they are like mine. You are the only being before whom I am not distressed by my own silences. You have a vehement silence, one feels it is charged with essences, it is a strangely alive silence, like a trap open over a well, from which one can hear the secret murmur of the earth itself.
| Anaïs Nin
Branding is a dirty word for many activists, but it really just means “the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” If we take branding out of the realm of consumption and into the interplay of ideas in the public sphere, then we see that the tools of branding can be used for more than just selling soap. Three important points to keep in mind about branding: Branding isn’t inherently “corporate.” Branding is really nothing more than a set of proven principles for associating, in the collective imagination, a certain word, phrase or image with a set of emotions or ideas. There’s nothing inherently capitalist about that. Corporations use branding because it works. Anti-corporate activists can use it, too. Branding can make the difference between success and failure. Every movement wants its message to be heard, but simply being right won’t sell your ideas. The human mind needs to be persuaded.