Friday, December 24, 2010


I take my hat off to those who created Voss, sell it and, what is more, to those who buy it.

Really --- my heart filled with awe, I totally, truly and genuinely amazed at professionals who deal with branded commodities or with the art (magic?) of making a purse out of a saw's ear. Well, the metaphor is not 100% correct: there is some degree of transformation involved in the act, but what happens to the water in a Voss bottle we don't know and hope that nothing happens at all and it arrives on our tables in its pristine condition.

The beauty behind branded commodities is that with minimum of effort and cost you are all of a sudden able to charge next-to-premium prices, basically for a bit of wrapping paper and a beautiful story behind it. One of the ways to escape from commodity hell.

When you step out into the labor market, you are nothing else but a product as well. As any product, there is some/much marketing effort needed and most marketing concepts apply. Hence, as any product, you have a price tag and value, which is, to a large extent,a perception of you by your own self and other labor market players. Tweaking the basic concepts just a little bit, we can place ourselves onto the following diagram:

Nobody wants to be priced low. Every ambitious person or at least those who do not have issues with personal self-esteem, want to be positioned in Quadrants 1 and 2, i.e. being a luxury product or a branded commodity. We know that big companies get thousands of solicited applications for a single position, so getting a distinguished personal brand is nowadays synonimous with self-preservation and survival in the long run.

Sometimes I get a feeling that all these talks about personal brandings is merely a fad, created by image experts in a despearte outcry for money, but the reality is that nobody wants to be a commodity, fad or no fad. We comb our hair even if we do not plan to leave home and we do other things just to feel good regardless whether others are going to notice or not. Thus, I guess we are running out of excuses to invest in ourselves and add a couple of zeroes to that price tag we are all wearing.

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