Solving the “brand” thing

If I still had a Santa Barbarian blogroll, I’d be quick to add Uncle Saul’s infoChachkie to it. Cool to read in his latest post another piece of the “branding” derivation puzzle:

  The word “brand” is derived from the Old English word baernan, which means “to burn.” For thousands of years, ranchers have branded their livestock to indelibly mark them and thereby communicate to the world their ownership. A marketing brand serves a similar purpose. It declares to the world the underlying ownership (and associated responsibility) to deliver on the brand’s promised value proposition.

I’ve always taken it as a given that the practice of “branding” involved the burning of ownership symbols onto the hides of cattle. But I now see via wikipedia, “When shipping their items, the factories would literally brand their logo or insignia on the barrels used, which is where the term comes from.” If I were a Wikipedian, I’d want to add a little “citation needed” there, but I suspect it’s true.

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