Dear Dr Boli: I am a little confused about the concept of “brand identity”. What strategy do the no-names employ? I have never seen a targeted marketing campaign get off the drawing board against the brand market leaders.

They sit on the shelves and look uber cool, Actually the packaging is quite striking and gives off a complex air of simplicty. Look there you go, it sells itself.

They seem to market themselves via the very absence of marketing,

Yours miserably,
Sp. Bog. Master of Puppets (Honest)

Dear Sir or Madam: Absence of marketing is itself a triumph of marketing. The uninitiated have no idea how difficult it is, in our era of universal capitalism, to keep something from being marketed. One never sees Mount Everest marketed as a climbing destination, for example, and doubtless that is part of its attractive mystique. Yet it had a narrow escape. After the formation of the Everest Marketing Board, only a lucky accident (namely the capture of all six members by Maoist guerrillas) prevented a massive magazine and newspaper saturation-marketing campaign featuring a color photograph of the mountain and the words “Because it’s there” in bold white Helvetica type. Highly paid marketers are always hard at work developing brand identities for airlines or athletic shoes, but the marketers who earn the truly princely sums are the ones who know how to prevent marketing from happening when an identity is already well established. Only their tireless efforts prevent the establishment of a logo for the North Pole or an official type font for the Mississippi River.