Monday, October 12, 2009

Is fall a brand?

[As requested by Gretchen Steen: This piece appears every fall since October 2008.]

We are entering the heart of fall, when the air is chilly in the shade… and the sunlight a blessing on the skin. Manhattan elevators smell of mothballs as the older folks bring forth sweaters. The park smells of earth. New England trees are splashed with orange and gold.

However you define “brand” – as perception, as experience, as promise – the fall season has characteristics of a brand. Fall is crisp, a blade with a sharp edge. It has depth, a rustling deep in the forest. Fall is a time to prepare… for evening performances… for contemplation… for winter’s onslaught… for the implications of dying leaves.

What – to you – is fall’s “brand essence”? Vigor renewed? Time to take stock? Each of us has a unique fall feeling… but all of us share awareness of the bright sun casting long shadows, of yellowy lights in the early darkness... of the urge to buckle down.

Fall is not a brand, of course. No one shapes its image. Fall is not a brand experience. It is inscrutable nature’s most serious season… and thus its most human.



Jeffry Pilcher said...

I believe that anything that can be given a name has a brand. Essentially, every "noun" has a brand, whether that's a person, place or thing.

People - A single person like Obama has a brand, while whole groups of people like Republicans have a brand.

Place - A mall, like the Forum Shops at Caesar's. A city, like Philly. A Caribbean island, like St. Croix. A nation, like Canada.

Thing - A company, product, service, etc., have brands, of course. But also more socio-cultural things like "fall" or "poker" or "Christmas."

If a "brand" is a collection of attitudes, perceptions and beliefs, it would seem to hold true that all nouns have brands.

brandsinger said...

Ha - nice point Jeffry. It sounds a bit like a BC cartoon: Nouns have brands!
Regards, Brandsinger

Thomas said...

Having lived the vast majority of my adult life in the Mountains, the coming of the Fall foliage reminds me of two things.

1. The beauty of the brilliant colors, like a painted forest, glistening in the morning dew and shining in the afternoon sunlight.

2. Crowds.

An afternoon drive on the Blueridge Parkway suddenly goes from a relaxing way to spend the day, to a bumper to bumper, never ending train of cars. Hotels jack up their rates 2 and 3 fold, and are booked up for hundreds of miles around. Emergency shelters are set up to house those unfortunate many who failed to make a reservation months in advance. Despite all this, Fall is still one of my favorite times of the year.

brandsinger said...

Hey, thanks, Thomas. Nicely put.
I picture you up there in the mountains -- gazing at the trees splashed with colors -- when suddenly a cavalcade of noisy city-folk arrives -- and you duck inside for your shootin iron and chase them off with a round of buckshot.

Enjoy the season,