Yes Logo, No Klein!

February 24, 2010

When Naomi Klein wrote her book No Logo ten years ago, I refused to waste my time making a comment because it was so void of value for the reader that it would die a natural death. I believed the minor sensation it created was mostly on college campuses and in the offices of a few business executives.

Ten years later, however, Naomi Klein seems poised for a victory lap. For the life of me, I do not see the appeal of her philosophy as she looks at the world through smog covered glasses. She has a distinctly old Soviet dreary point of view since she lives in a world where everything is painted gray. Still, she makes a living dishing out her glum perceptions to willing recipients. This time I say, “Enough!”

I’ve worked with dozens of Fortune 500 companies, but I’ve never seen one that plots hatred like Klein portrays in her writings. Do companies make mistakes? Absolutely. Are there greedy executives? Without a doubt. There always have been and always will be villains in business and politics. It is human nature. Does the system need to be destroyed to create the grim, undifferentiated, life in the Klein gulag? No.

Klein’s writings are in many ways offensive and without any constructive value. She talks about her research for No Logo, which included, “reading soul-destroying books on how to get in touch with your personal brand values….” Soul-destroying is a pretty damning accusation without a word of definition. I’ve written four books on brand building, and I wonder how many souls I destroyed vs. how many souls I helped. She makes ridiculous accusations that a “…increasingly voracious marketing culture was encroaching on previously protected non-corporate spaces – schools, museums, parks….” I guess the bad corporations just forced themselves upon these parks, breaking into them and plastering their billboards on every tree. Get real. No logo is bad logo.

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