BRANDING HISTORY

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What is Brand?

As a noun, the “Oxford English Dictionary” describes Brand as “a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name”. The “Business Dictionary” however describes Brand as much more than that, and at Ascribe Bureau we totally agree. There is far more to a brand than a logo, strapline and graphics.

A brief history of ‘Brand’ and ‘Branding’ through the ages.

Branding has a very long history from all around the world. Brands were applied to cattle and humans well before being applied to any products, services or businesses. A term brand has been used for a long time in books and history tells us that branding referred to stigmatisation. The word ‘Brand’ has been said to derive from an Old Norse word ‘brandr’ which means ‘to burn, a burning stick or flaming-sword’. Hieroglyphics and stone carvings that were found in ancient Egypt, have been said to be around 4000 years old which supports that fact. Cattle horns would have been etched or the marking of their hide to depict ownership of the cattle.

Stone carving depicting cattle in ancient Egypt
Ancient Rpman Greek and Chinese branding examples

Forms of branding in ancient times. 

Along with the Egyptian wall paintings, there have been many other cave paintings that depict branded cattle found in south-western Europe. These seem to have resembled the Stone Age and Early Bronze Age. Just as the ancient people used brands to identify the ownership of cattle it has also been found true that other goods or products were branded. Pottery was one of the first products to be branded along with bricks and tiles from Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Chinese, Roman and Greek, pottery bore inscriptions indicating the name of the potter who had made the piece. Roman builders stamped their bricks and tiles, paper makers of that era used watermarks. There were many other various craft makers that would suggest to indicate that there were a large number of guilds at that time. Humans were also branded and it is evident from Mesopotamia dating as far back as 3000 years ago. Galley slaves, gladiators and fugitives were branded to denote ownership and also in later years criminals were still being branded as a form of punishment and a symbol of their shame throughout the world.

The beginning of Brand Trademarks.

There have been many debates about branding and trademarks over the years. Many businesses have claimed to have had the first actual trademark, including some famous names of today. It has been reported that the blacksmiths that had made swords during the Roman Empire are thought of as being the first ever users of trademarks.

However, many others have claimed that the first actual trademark legislation was said to have been passed by the British Parliament under the reign of King Henry III in 1266. This legislation required all bakers to use a distinctive mark for the bread that they sold.

Henry VIII - Tudor Bread Trademarking
Bass red triangle brand and trademark

Bringing brands into the modern world.

The first modern trademark law notably didn’t really emerge until the late 19th century in France. ‘Manufacture and Goods Mark Act’ was the first comprehensive trademark system in the world which was passed into law in 1857. This was at a time when French factories were making a great deal of fine porcelain products during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III.

A few years later in 1875, the ‘Trade Marks Registration Act’ was passed which allowed formal registration of trademarks at the UK Patent Office for the first time. Registration was considered to comprise ‘prima facie’ evidence of ownership of a trademark. On 1 January 1876, Bass brewery became the first registration as they recorded the ‘red triangle’ as their trademark.

In the modern world we live in today, some people tend to think of branding as some kind of modern-day phenomenon but that certainly is not the case. Branding goes far back in time. Any branding may be originated, ensure honesty and provide quality assurance. It may also identify the source or ownership and hold the producers responsible. To differentiate, as a form of identification and also to create emotional bonding. Quite simply, our history can only provide some kind of insight and perspective on branding.

Ready to start building your brand?

We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get started working on your branding. To help create and develop your business strategies so that you will become the envy of your competitors.

We thrive in creating and developing the very best strategies. Using a solid brand building process that will transform your business. Ascribe will not rest until you’re completely satisfied and we have met and exceeded all of your project expectations.

There are endless possibilities that can build a brand voice that makes sense and resonates with your target audience.

● Professional               ● Technical                    ● Authoritative

● Friendly                       ● Promotional              ● Informative

● Service-oriented       ● Conversational         & many more

You’ll discover that your customers will develop a deeper level of trust for your brand. Also, be more likely to purchase what you are selling. Ready to take the next step with your brand identity design, website development, or digital marketing? Let’s chat! 

Call on (+44) 07809 365544 or email  theteam@ascribebureau.com

If you have any further questions.

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