Keeping this month’s cover and feature story in mind try this simple experiment. James J. Spina, Name that Brand:

Bass white buck shoes with red rubber heels and soles. Gold Toe white socks. Brooks Brothers sky blue boxers. Joseph A. Bank gray-and-white striped seersucker suit. Polo Ralph Lauren cotton plaid camp shirt.  Banana Republic gray cotton-knit tie. Timex stainless-steel diver-style watch. Cole Haan brown wallet. United States Treasury coins and paper currency. Indian Chief white cotton handkerchief. Robert Talbott silk pocket square. Perry Ellis leather belt. Persol eyeglasses. Starkey hearing aids. Hart Specialties imitation leather eyeglass case with pen holder. Parker 1950s vintage fountain pen filled with Parker Quink washable blue ink. Long Island Railroad timetable. Silhouette microfiber eyeglass cleaner cloth. Case pocket knife. And finally... An 18-year-old gold wedding ring bought at a jewelry store on 47th Street in New York.

I can’t remember the name of the jewelry store. It is the only item I’m wearing at this exact moment in time that I am unable to connect with a brand name.

So go ahead. Start naming the names of the brands touching your body and heart. It really helps you get a clear picture of the power of branding for yourself and for the world in general. There’s not much generic “stuff” out there these days. And in reality the loyalty to the branded products has seen a surge in consumer loyalty (and awareness) stronger than ever.

Everyone is naming brands they want. And in reactive balance the brand providers (manufacturers) are doing everything possible to brand everything in sight. EVERYTHING IN SIGHT. Yes, you get the picture.

Oops. Almost forgot the stuff in my wallet. A Visa card. A MasterCard. A New York State driver’s license and car registration. Three 20/20 business cards. A United Heathcare card. A Long Island Railroad monthly ticket. Same point made.

By the way. This wasn’t an attempt to steal your identity. In a sense, when it comes to branding, THAT has already happened.            

James J. Spina