It’s a book that analyzes the influence of the brands -all brands, from the “underground” or “cool” to the most popular- on our current culture. Hence its importance.
Canadian journalist Naomi Klein pens a work that analyzes the influence of the brands on our society, through a critical approximation of the effects that the bigger firms of the world have on the labor market and the market of world consumption.
Rich countries are transforming their systems of production and assisting in a delocalization process that, as Naomi Klein explains at the beginning of the work, creates “ghost neighborhoods” in large industrial cities when their industrial parks are abandoned.
Paradoxically, many critics of the present state of consumption, brands and the industry of “cool” and all that accompanies it, are those who occupy the spaces abandoned by the businesses: the neighborhood where Naomi Klein resides in Canada is an example of this tendency to occupy- legally or not- old factories.
The book focuses on the creation, development and constant transformation of the brands, that dominate all aspects of large urban spaces, transformed into markets designed for the distinction and consumption of brands. The four parts into which the book is divided – no space, no choice, no jobs, no logo-, try to explain this.
No Logo is a highly quoted book and not only by movements that seek alternatives to “globalization” (better known as anti-globalization movements).
Klein’s book clarifies that, even the most radical “consumers” of the large cities of North America, Western Europe and Japan have their own brands, all of which have been studied meticulously by the major labels and have interacted with each other in a secondary current of the main market of consumption. In No Logo, no one is safe from the diatribe.
There are solidly documented criticisms against the practices of Nike, The Gap, McDonalds, Shell and Microsoft and their dense network of specialized professionals: lawyers, clients and suppliers, publicists and a long etcetera of relationships that extends from politics to the “cool-hunters”.
These are corporate examples with an extensive network of production, distribution, logistics and commercialization in extensive zones of the world, belonging to all sectors: sports clothes, textile distribution, junk food, petroleum and energy, computer software, etc. No environment escapes the sieve.
The critics argue that, although No Logo is a serious attempt to explain the growth and power of brands throughout the world, it’s all part of a culture that was consolidated throughout the world decades ago, promoted by the mass media since the end of World War II.
Part of Andy Warhol’s work, the existence of “Beatlemania” and the phenomena of the creation of interchangeable popular culture, or the ascent of the corporate model that benefits from the power of marketing, are examples detected and studied extensively.
It’s not necessary to revert back to the mass communications studies of the Frankfurt School; or of Marshall McLuhan and his prediction from the 1960s of an information society and the interconnected “global village”.
Now, immersed in the era of personalization, self-production of content, free Internet access, mobile phones and other technologies, it’s easy and, for some thinkers, redundant to incite what is so obvious.
There are more or less solid criticisms of No Logo, a book whose “logo” based on the “absence of a logo” has been converted, ironically, into a brand with a great capacity for commercial suggestion.
Be that as it may, the reading of No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies helps us to understand the mechanisms created by the large corporations to maintain their preponderance. For that reason itself it has become obligatory reading at the world’s top business schools.
- Title: No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies
- Author: Naomi Klein
- Publisher: Picador
- Genre: non-fiction
- Pages: 512
- Year: 2000