Aug 31, 2013

No-Brand Branding

I think any marketing / business books will say branding is very very very important. It applies to all, not only business. But let me not preach on that as I'm kind of anti-brand. I mean I have nothing against branding, it's just there is something how it is done, which I don't know how to articulate, that kind of leaves a bad aftertaste.

I've been thinking about branding "seriously" for quite some time already, ever since I committed to "work" on runroo. I was hoping of making "runroo" a brand that stands for the running community, it's about the people out there running, doing the impossible, getting on what they want / like without a care about how others sees it. But I think I miserably failed at it when some would comment to me that it's "runroose" (rose is my name), or everyone would point me as "runroo." Sometimes, I would find myself explaining that "no, runroo is not about me. it's about you!" But I would just be greeted with confused look. So I gave up! And, so when someone told me I'm runroo, I would just accept it as it. For me, it was a failed branding job! I was hoping that when (very few) people would think about runroo, they would think about their friend, their neighbor, the other athletes or weekend runners who inspires them... and not me the annoying chismosa poser runner.

What makes it fail? That's another long debate with myself.

So the kind of branding I kind of admire to is "threadless." I mean others may see the brand differently. But for me, I see threadless as "not threadless" itself. But I see it as my artists' friends (I'm the only one claiming to be friend of the.). I mean, I don't buy threadless because its threadless. I buy it because I see the artists' passion and part of their selves put to it. I mean the artists who are putting their design there are not "designing" for threadless (I'd like to believe this is the case.) but for what they believe in or what's in their "hearts." Unlike probably in other labels where artists are asked to design for the "label's personality," what the label believed in. I'm not underestimating those artists who work for certain labels. And, I'm not against how labels do it. It's "branding" after all.

So when I buy a design in threadless, it's like a like to the "artist's" work and passion, not threadless. Unlike, when you buy a binch shirt because Anne Cortez wore it.

Anyhoo, there probably is no difference at all. I'm just making it complicated.

So I'm currently having that far-away look as to how to do it. We've been meaning to do tech shirts and stuff for runroo, (also pls watch out for which probably i should stop talking about or else it will be associated again with me. feelers lang!). But I'm stumped as to how to go about it. One is that I'm not really into the idea of adding yet to the habit of consumerism, which is, of course, another issue I need to settle with myself. I probably cannot sell if I don't like to sell. Funny, these look more like a personal issue than a branding problem. But yeah, I guess, how do you make it worthwhile?

(The reason why the shirts below: one shirt has a runroo, and other has none. This design is by Mark Deustch of Happy Garaje.)
We got a few ideas. The next question will be is that it's definitely going to take a lot of time from us, who are already quite short on time. But as they say "limitation is an advantage."

Now back to branding, I noticed that it's probably a Pinoy thing that we want to be associated with a kind of brand. Or, I guess it's human nature. The way how I wanted the branding to be, it's probably going to be a struggle.

We had one time approached a reliable "supplier" but we kind of back out because they wanted to print their brand on the shirt. On a thought, having their brand on the shirt is actually a good marketing strategy, because they have a more popular brand. It's in a way a free marketing. But somehow, it just not stand with how we wanted to shape "it.'

So, yeah, I finally am able to put these random thoughts down. Talking like a pro... mo girl! =) 

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