Are We What We Buy?

Are We What We Buy? Entering a Conversation about Brand Marketing

In essay #4, you will enter in conversation with scholars who have written about branding and marketing. Craft an essay in which you examine your own relationship to a particular brand or approach to marketing. Your audience is educated peers. Respond to the following prompt. (You do not need to produce this prompt in your essay. If you do, it will not count toward the required word count for the essay.)

Are brands invading our brains? Are we what we buy? Writers as diverse as Naomi Klein and Sally Satel and John O. Lilienfeld suggest that marketing has gone far beyond simply advertising products to producing lifestyle brands and even marketing to consumers at the neurological level. According to these writers, we seem to have entered a world where consumers buy ideas, not products.

In your essay, select one brand or marketing campaign that Klein and Satel and Lilienfeld have not examined. Describe that brand or marketing effort in detail, using your own language and your own analysis. Your goal is to figure out exactly how that brand strives to define itself and earn customer loyalty. Connect your description to the ideas of Klein and Satel and Lilienfeld. Explain which aspects of branding and/or marketing are being used, and evaluate the quality of the brand and/or marketing approach.

Potential subjects include:

           The brand of the Android operating system

           The marketing strategies of Reebok 

           What strategies do online universities use to promote themselves?

           How Sprite uses athletes to establish its brand

           How Levi’s jeans earns customer loyalty

These are only examples – the options are nearly limitle

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