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Branding and Happiness Revisited

Over the weekend, my friend and advertising’s self-appointed inquisitor-general, Bob Hoffman, republished part of a brilliant article he wrote 11 years ago on the connection between branding and happiness. It is too good not to share.  The piece was called Everything You Need To Know About Branding On One Little Page. Of branding and happiness, Hoffman explained:

The idea that a strong brand can be created through “branding” is wrong. Some things can only be achieved indirectly. You can’t be happy by trying to be happy. If you want to be happy you have to go fishing, or eat a pizza…it’s the same in marketing. You want to have a strong brand? Quit “branding”. A strong brand is a by-product. It comes from doing a lot of other things right.

Writing in his blog this past weekend, Hoffman reminisced:

Turns out that for once I may have been on target, at least about the happiness bit. This week a guy who is professor of clinical psychiatry at Cornell and contributes regularly to The New York Times wrote, “Everyone wants to be happy, yet the more directly we pursue happiness, the more elusive it becomes. Happiness is a side effect.”

This guy is wasting his time as a psychiatrist. He could be a blogger!

Anyway, if I was right about happiness, who knows, maybe I was also right about creating a successful brand? Here’s what I wrote at the time:

  1. Make sure you’re selling excellent products.
  2. Make sure you’re taking good care of your customers.
  3. Make sure your ads demonstrate how your product is different from, and better than your competitor’s.

That’s what builds brands, and that’s all you need to know. The rest is chitchat.


Read Bob Hoffman’s full biography here: or, follow Bob Hoffman online @adcontrarian.


Mike Hallaron
About Hallaron Advertising Agency

Mike Hallaron is founder and principal partner and has served as director of accounts at Hallaron Advertising Agency in The Woodlands, Texas since 2003. The agency works closely with clients supplying branding and advertising strategy and implementing effective, award-winning campaigns. More than just an idea shop, Hallaron is a full-service agency focused on increasing client’s sales using branding, marketing, and media services.

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