Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Birth of Brand: 4000 Years of Branding History

Moore, Karl and Reid, Susan (2008): The Birth of Brand: 4000 Years of Branding History. Published in: Business History , Vol. No. 4, No. Vol. 50 (July 2008): pp. 419-432.


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This paper seeks to show that brands are as old as civilization. It derives evidence of branding, in various forms, from important historical periods beginning 2250 BCE in the Indus Valley through to 300 BCE Greece. This evidence is compared with modern research directed toward developing a meaning of “brand”. We observe a gradual transition from a more utilitarian provision of information regarding origins and quality to the addition of more complex brand image characteristics over time. Including status/power, added value and finally, the development of brand personality.

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