Brands, branding‘Brands began as badges of product quality, going back at least as far as the medieval guilds of craftsmen who used them to distinguish their work,’ (The Economist November 14th 2015).

Waning faith in brands | ‘The waning faith in brands is a greater threat to some types of products than others: snacks and household gadgets, say, as opposed to luxury handbags. But for a range of consumer goods, brands’ strength as a signal of quality, and their power to open people’s wallets, are fading, argue Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen in their book, Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information,’ (The Economist November 14th 2015).

Brand authenticity | ‘The silver lining—authentically handcrafted, of course—to the dark cloud looming over brands is that as people become better informed about products’ underlying qualities, and more sceptical of marketing gimmicks, they are exhibiting a desire for brands that are “honest” and seem to have some identifiable merit. Authenticity is far easier to pull off when your product has some real-world qualities that its competitors lack. The most striking recent example is that of America’s craft beers,’ (The Economist November 14th 2015).


The Economist., ‘Schumpeter, It’s the real thing,’ November 14th 2015, p.61.