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The Tutor on Branding

He's not called Tutor for nothing:

Yes, my first encounter with the delusion that we are all rich or going to be rich was in 81. A door to door salesman for the Britanica Encylcopedia and I had been hired to do sales training for a financial services outfit. Neither of us was making much money, but like Willy Loman, he had a shoeshine and a dream - "Hey, some day I'll be rich." He retired, a few years ago, without much money, in pretty much the same job he started in, but I am sure he is still as optimisitic as ever, "You gotta believe!" We call this "aspirational marketing." Every peasant lining the highway and throwing his cap in the air as the King goes by, feels that he is the Prince. Symbolic representation. When you have little, you don't want to be deprived of your consoling the delusions, the big sale that will make you rich, the playoff victory that will make your home town #1, the war tha will prove that your country is still #1. The slow downward slide that accompanies these dreams is expressed as anxiety about those below, and a desperate effort to differentiate yourself from "them," the doomed. So, cut taxes for the rich, since we will soon be rich too, and stick it to the poor, since "they" are not me. I am a winner. Bush once waved at me at a Nascar rally. Wish that more enlightened people understood sales and poetry better. It is all about stories and identification, symolism, ritual enactment, ceremony, as Steve Denning understands in his stuff on branding. We need to be better tellers of the tale, not telling the others that they are what they are, but what they could be: "The meek shall inherit the world."

"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."
    -Saul Bellow