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Branding vs. junking

Posted by Suzana Milijašević Đurić on 22 September 2010 14:52 in Opinions

For April Fools' Day joke aimed at our colleague, we needed an unusual video clip from the YouTube so that we would have good reason to gather around a computer and loudly give comments on it. One of the colleagues found an amateur video of an amateur singer who originated in the Balkans and whose interpretation of an allegedly copyrighted song, I'm not sure would even be chosen for the example of the bad singing of some of the candidates for a star of some popular TV talent show programs. To spice the things up, the video was made in the USA, so the song was aimed at all "gastarbeiters" (or those who feel like one), who were leaving this area from time immemorial to work as a peon even across the pond.


April Fools' Day was over, the joke succeeded and we all forgot about this inessential event. But, one of our colleagues was following the rating of that video for the reasons only he knew, and was surprised by the popularity of it. Numerous comments and views spoke in favor of the growing popularity of the video. And that wouldn't be strange, speaking from the global point of view, since almost every day at least one "star" like the man from the video has his 5 minutes somewhere in the world.


But, as ill-luck would have it, the miracle happened! The same video was viewed all over Serbia (I'm not mentioning other Balkan countries, because they're not that important for this story) and charmed people so much that the singer got to Serbian print media. What's more, he got an official offer from the owner of a Serbian TV channel to participate in a popular TV show program. A rumor goes around that the singer was offered to give a concert in the USA for a considerable amount of money.


Now you're probably asking yourself: "Why are you writing about this stuff when we all know about this video? What's the point?" This story prompted me to think how much we, as marketing professionals who "studied something" (taken from a clip from YouTube) and dedicated our professional career to the improvement of the complex process of branding, are actually making a mistake or we're at the wrong place. Despite the fact that developed countries are thinking long and hard how to theoretically mold various practical methods for creating, maintaining and improving brands and thus, maybe one day, create a separate discipline named Branding, Serbia has a simple counter-response. Instead of branding, an unofficial method I would call "junking" is gaining in popularity in Serbia. We're the true masters of junking. I would even say we have so developed this discipline that it has nearly overpowered branding. Although "everybody" knows what is branding, almost nobody is using this "old-fashioned" discipline, because junking is much easier, simpler and widely applicable, and the above mentioned example just confirms its exceptional efficiency.


Therefore, I suggest our colleagues to hastily change over to specializing techniques for creating junk instead of brand, because otherwise we'll be left out of this trend and we won't be able to satisfy customers' expectations. What's even more interesting is the fact that this new discipline doesn't require special formal education in order to master it. Anyone can apply it, and better results of junking are evident with people without an academic education. As a result, I propose, dear marketing experts, to merge together and prove that we're also capable of mastering the skills of junking! By exporting knowledge or rather ignorance, maybe we'll finally succeed in Serbia's striving to distinguish itself in the world.

Tags: branding, junking

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