Exposure, trending topics and viral are the catch words. Every one wants a viral website, tweet, brand or blog. Sounds likes rabies a bit. The most viral wins. Big it seems. A brand ends up being about money in the end. Influence too, sometimes good and needed.
If you google it, the words associated with it are; generator, abuse, social networking, social media, Internet marketing, image, loyalty, development, label, advertising, pirating, squatting, identity, equity, registered, domain, audience, platform, positioning and strategy, to name a few. Dizzy yet? Like putting your 10 point 'z' on the triple word square in scrabble, it's about strategy.
Little known bloggers and small companies seem panicked about having a brand. Saving a domain name for your children is highly encouraged. Get them a twitter account while you're at it so they will have a brand.
On a ranch, branding time started by rounding up the cattle then separating the bellowing calves from their frantic mamas. They were thrown quickly to the ground and a sizzling hot iron with the ranch's brand/logo was stamped through the burning hair to the flesh, forever marking the animal as being owned by that rancher.
Slaves were often branded or would have an ear slit by their owner, marking them as owned.
A maker's mark is different.
When an artist creates something beautiful, usually the last thing he does is puts his maker's mark on it.
Looking for a maker's mark on antiques is like finding treasure. Wooden furniture, porcelain, pottery, silver, ceramics, statuary, silver, jewelery, paintings, wrought iron and more will have the maker's mark.
One of the most curious things to look for in some of the old finely carved pews in the European cathedrals is the maker's mark. One artist carved a small mouse somewhere in every piece he did. The marble work also always has a quirky signature left. Some artist's leave a blue dot in their painting. Each artist has a unique mark, leaving their imprint, their signature.
A friend of ours who is a blacksmith, presses his maker's mark in each original piece he creates. Finding it and rubbing your fingers over it is part of enjoying the art.
A maker's mark signifies we are finished, loved. I like that better than a mere brand. A maker's mark is about love, in the end. The artist and the created piece, satisfied.
Mark me all over. Stamp it, carve it, press it, emboss it, ink it, scratch it in. I'm yours.