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What it means to have a “brand”

On the front page of the June 19 New York Times:

A self-described “fat redneck,” he speaks in a marble-mouthed Mississippi drawl, loves Maker’s Mark bourbon, resembles an adult version of Spanky from the Little Rascals, and fits no one’s ideal of a sleek new political model… (A description of Haley Barbour.)

When they wrote (and when you read) “Maker’s Mark” you had a specific feeling. If it just said bourbon, or whiskey, or a different kind of whiskey, you would have had a different feeling.

That feeling is a brand.

I often wonder what it would be like to be the Samuels family, who have had the privilege of caring for a single product, a single brand, for 50 years. I can’t imagine having that kind of focus, but I’d love the chance to take the time to do one marketing job really, really well.

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