Ben Werdmuller on brands, values, ethics and perversions

To the extent that I’m involved in the relationship at all, I’m interested in products, not brands. I use a computer for a living; I decided to switch to Mac because I worked out that the build quality would save me money and improve my productivity, not because I love Apple. I buy organic ketchup from Trader Joe because I try to avoid high fructose corn syrup, and Trader Joe is convenient. If another company came out with a computer that lasted as long, or another ketchup that was made without corn syrup and was equally convenient to buy, I might switch. I’m loyal to values, not brands. The idea that I might stick to Apple or Trader Joe because of an emotional attachment to the brand itself is, again, perverse.

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I believe this strongly: ethical companies charge for their services. Display advertising is a legacy economic model, and the brands that control it are gatekeepers. There are better business models out there, waiting to be found, that allow sites and communities to be sustainable on their own terms.

benwerd.com/blog/2012/06/30/the-brands-i-care-about-are-all-yelling-at-me/

And sometimes the state of the world changes such that sites and communities and activities don't actually need any business model to sustain themselves. Sometimes businesses just disappear. Sometimes they become things that aren't businesses anymore.