Centuries ago, branding used to be known as the means of cattle owners to know whose livestock belongs to whom. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the practice of branding was limited to identification of cattle owners which dates back before Shakespeare's time. They burnt a mark onto the flesh of the animal to ensure their ownership. Branding was not only relegated to animals, even slaves and criminals endured such treatment and the term trademark for the word or symbol chosen by a manufacturer to identify and distinguish his product was in use before 1838.* *
Economists credit an English artisan by the name of Josiah Wedgwood for creating the first modern brand. Wedgwood greatly improved the quality of the crude common crockery of his day. Christened "Queen's Ware" after Queen Charlotte, his goods were of such superior quality that they stimulated demand and commanded a premium price. "Wedgwood" was synonymous with quality. The promotion of brands through public media started in 1878 when the first full-page newspaper advertisements appeared.* *
According to business literatures, branding was first practiced in the nineteenth century, when packaged goods were sold to the general public. The first commercial brand registered was Pears Soap. When the items were shipped to local merchants, the company would place the brand name and logo on all of the packaging, therefore implementing basic branding practices. Modern branding is only a 50 plus years discipline, born of the television and the need to drive consumption to the mass market. On May 13, 1931 the concept of branding was born. Neil McElroy wrote an internal memorandum at Procter & Gamble, proposing a new business strategy called "Brand Management" and the age of differentiation was born.* *
The above preview indicates that history of Brands traces not only the industrial movement but also talks about the cultural norms of nations and Bangladesh is perhaps no exception. I have been trying to collect information on brands of Bangladesh, but unfortunately very little could be revealed. Some names have come up from time to time with unique features that talk a lot about the parameters of our society and business. I will provide a brief description of our heritage and will make an attempt to link this with our social norms.* *
The oldest brands of Bangladesh, unlike the western world, are traced to textiles. The textile sector created distinctive brands in the form of Jamdani and Muslin. The earliest mention of the origin of jamdani is found in Kautilya's book of economics (about 300 AD) where it is stated that this fine cloth used to be made in Bengal and Pundra. Jamdani is believed to be a fusion of the ancient cloth-making techniques of Bengal (perhaps 2,000 years old) with the Muslins produced by Bengali Muslims. In his 9th century book Sril Silat-ut-Tawarikh the Arab geographer Solaiman mentions the fine fabric called...