In the most simple terms, The Art of Advertising Shorthand is dubbed “Branding“. To simplify the term and the concept even further, this word comes from the practice of making a mark by charring the surface of wood or flesh. Anyone familiar with the old-west practice of branding livestock has a pretty good idea of how the process works. Today the term has transformed into many variations, but the concept remains the same.
While it may seem trivial to illustrate a simple fact like this, it is important to understand why this has profound meaning in our modern efforts to define our company brands.
First of all, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense for Cowboys to write, “Property of the Hillside Ranch and Cattle Company” on the side of their livestock. Even if it was charred into the flesh of cattle, it is just too long a statement and virtually impossible to see at a distance. Imagine sitting on a horse some two or three hundred yards from a bull on the open range and trying to see what that says. It wouldn’t matter if it was a neon sign. They would need binoculars to begin to read it. But a simple symbol such as (C could easily be seen from a distance without too much effort. (In case it isn’t obvious that is a “hillside” next to the letter “C”)
For anyone coming across this mark it was clearly obvious that this was the “Property of the Hillside Ranch and Cattle Company”. In fact there was (and still is) a state by state registry of livestock brands; just as there is a registry for trademark stamps for product logos. Fortunately, the practice of hanging has been replaced by fines for anyone violating the use of registered brands.
Boiling this all down; a brand is an indelible mark that can easily be seen from a distance which clearly identifies a company or product. In terms of products, we can now take this one step further to include sounds, smells, tastes and more. A Coke™ is a Coke and a Starbucks™ is like no other. Not to mention, “You’ve got mail.”
(To include a Trademark Stamp (™) in documents, hold down the ALT key while typing in 0153)