Just One Word.


I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Branding.

This is a re-written version of a very famous line from one of my favourite movies of all time, The Graduate (1967). In the original, Dustin Hoffman (whom you might know from the Meet the Fokkers movies, heavy sigh…) plays Benjamin Braddock, a recent university grad with no job or other plans for the future.

Benjamin is cornered at a poolside cocktail party by one of his parents’ friends, Mr. McGuire, who takes Ben aside to whisper The Secret to the future of technology and professional success. In the original, that word is “plastics.” Can a case be made that branding is as powerful an influence on business today as plastics were in the 1960s?


4 thoughts on “Just One Word.

  1. Ryan Fernandes

    Branding is just as important as plastics but in the context of the movie as a unique selling attribution, not as a key material in cheap production. There are way too many companies, and even in such things as manufacturing ketchup, the reason why the people who make the concentrate for HEINZ have so much power and profit is because they have a brand equity to the marketplace for that specific item like KETCHUP.

  2. Vicky Kulic

    I would say that yes, branding is as powerful as plastics were, as long as you actually have a quality product. If you have something actually worth buying, using some phenomenal branding you can make consumers see your product however you want. A great example is Coke, realistically Coke is just some sugary brown concoction which is very similar to say Pepsi, but through branding the company has created a culture around their product. They are associated with the American culture and seen as classic and timeless. I personally will always chose Coke over Pepsi and I can’t say that it is because it tastes so much better than Pepsi, but because of the associations I have with Coke and my personal connection to the brand.

  3. Mark Patey

    I agree with the statement and believe branding is as powerful as plastics in the 60’s as today’s consumers are very experience driven. Maybe in the past it would have been more acceptable to buy products and not really care about the brand as opposed to the benefits sought from the product, but today’s consumers have much more selection. To gain a sustainable competitive advantage in today’s marketplace companies must not only provide a product of added value but they must also create a consistent message throughout the organization that drives the company’s vision. An example stated in the course pack was of Vaseline placing branded sofas in movie theaters to provide consumers with ‘touch’ which is an important part of the company’s value proposition. This is in line with the message the company is trying to send, and provides the consumer with a great experience.

    Branding has a very powerful influence on businesses, but it is important to note that routine, commoditized advertisements (such as painful commercials) are of the past and company’s hoping to sustain a competitive advantage into the future will need to think of more creative measures to fully grasp the attention of the end consumer.

  4. Stephanie Rathakrishnan

    I agree that branding is as powerful as plastics were. The number of products and services available today has expanded greatly in the past few decades. Since consumers have so many products available to them, branding is key to getting consumers. An example of this can be Starbucks. Consumers of Starbucks don’t choose their coffee just for the actual product, but also because of the experience that Starbucks gives them. Consumers are willing to pay more because they value the brand that is Starbucks and they see them as superior compared to other competitors (Tim Hortons, Coffee Time). It’s not just about the product anymore, it is about the experience the product gives them and the personal connection consumers have to the brand.


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