The Impact of Branding

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Naomi Klein, economic and social theorist asks “what impact does Branding have on our modern-world?” Though branding came about during the industrial revolution to create distinction and individuality, branding in today’s global society takes on a different role for consumers, often having a negative impact on workers many consumers aren’t aware of.

Martin Lindstorm, author of “Brandwashed” says most people feel better when they choose brand names because they equate recognition and established reputation with a quality product. In her book Naomi Klein uncovers the underbelly of branding and explains that companies manufacturing outside the U.S. often do so in Export Contracting Zones. These zones often utilize “Work Camps” which regularly subject workers to inhumane conditions. Would consumers purchasing behavior change if they knew the human rights violations involved in the manufacturing process?

The Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights released a report alleging that workers producing clothing for Classic Brands like Walmart, Target, Macy's, and Hanes at a factory in Jordan have been routinely beaten, underpaid and forced to work excessive hours. The report added that workers have been forced to live in bed bug-infested dormitories that lack heat and hot water. The companies named in the report have yet to take any action. Charles Kernaghan, author of the report says these companies have become global networks that design, make, buy, and sell things wherever around the world it’s most profitable for shareholders and believes nothing will change until we get a law that keeps goods produced under these conditions out of U.S. consumers' shopping carts. As long as consumers stay in the dark about these practices, retailers will continue to pressure manufactures & suppliers to keep producing as cheaply as they can. Would you be willing to pay more to ensure humane work conditions for all?

An Introduction to Naomi Klein's "No Logo"...