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Andrej Drapal
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Mastering myself to benefit community.
Mastering myself to benefit community.

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HOLISTIC SCIENCE

First thesis:

As already explained under all "meme" tags and especially in this post, memes form THE unique human environment that follow same replication and evolution principles as genes within genetic evolution. That mames follow more lamarckian (inheritance of acquired characteristics) rules and genes more darwinian (genetic inheritance and selection) rules does not change the fact that memes are specific human replicators, second replicators, that change humans from the rest of environment.

Second thesis:

As already explained memes behave like brands and brands behave like memes. The only difference is that brands exist only as meme-complexes. As explained in Brandlife and in many posts in this blog, one can explain brand identity with brand identity formula, that consists of 9 elements. Each of 9 brand identity elements can consist of at least one and up to couple of memes. We can then come up to 20 or even more than 30 memes that interrelate within each brand. What is important is to understand, that memes within a brand should not be understand as listed, but as interrelated. That means that a meme "x" within a brand "BRAND1" has different value as meme "x" in "BRAND2" for the reason that meme environment in each brand is different.

Conclusion 1:

Different value for each meme within different identity environment explain us why a meme "sunny" has different value if it is interrelated within "SUNBURN PROTECTION CREME" or within "SOLLAR CELL".

Conclusion 2:

This leads also to simple explanation why words have ambiguous meanings and why all dictionaries are imperfect. It also explains us why Thesaurus with a list logic helps, but does not explain a word in full detail.

Conclusion 3:

Memes, meme-complexes and brands have identities that can be explained, but can only be understood in interrelation. That means that they can never be objectively understood. They are relational. They are never the same, but at the same time they have explicable identity. This fact proves to be the hardest for all those (especially managers) that have no experience in philosophy or at least in complexity theory.

Conclusion 4:

Any human activity, including medicine, management or science can not but be holistic. While each human activity has to analyze its field as deep as possible (the extent is limited by present tools available), those elements described by analytic tools can be understood only through their dynamic internal and external environment.

Corollary 1:

While analysis is driven by deduction, holistic interpretation is driven by induction.

Conclusion 5:

Each human activity is (should be) objective in deduction and subjective in induction. Only seamless cohabitation of both (holism) can be understood as Human Action (Von Mises).

Corollary 2:

Science and western medicine both have strong inclination to forget on subjective (holistic) part of human action. But that does not mean that they do not perform this subjective action. Human action can not be but a unity of deduction and induction. That science and western medicine do not want to see themselves in the realm of subjective (holistic) only mean that they avoid to make it explicit. In fact those that those that do not accept necessity of holism, they perform their actions irrational (not explicit, thought over..) much more than those that accept necessity of double nature of each human action.

Corollary 3:

While medicine and science often reject subjective nature of their actions, management and so called "social sciences" often reject objective, deductive level of their human actions. They fail to recognize physical reality.

Conclusion:

Human action that fully accepts double nature of human life is called homonism.

END:

Double nature of human life is homogenous, monistic (Spinoza) as much as identity is possible only as one.

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Although this is quite local story, it is worth reflect consequences arousing.

A set of high profile and high volume slovene magazines was seized by a bank (A) from a bankrupt company couple of years ago. To be precise: trademarks were acquired "only", while journalists and other assets stayed by the company (B) that beforehand leased those brands. It seems that now a new player (C) bought trademarks from a bank (A).

While I do not want to and do not dare to give any opinion on legal dimension of this issue other than: "everything was wrong from the very beginning" and that I am looking forward both for how this issue resolves on legal but as well on business level, there is an interesting branding dimension that is worth to take look at.

First of all bank (A) obviously considered that trademark has a value even if detached from all other brand assets. Otherwise they would not seriously count on option to sell those trademarks. Why would they evaluate situation like that? Because they do not know "b" of branding - and all those evaluating situation with them, including journalists and financial institutions. They mistake brand for trademark. While Bank (A) in fact acquired trademarks, they thought and also publicly claimed as if they would have acquired brands.

Company (B) did what was necessary step from a business perspective, but legally highly questionable. They have immediately constructed new trademarks around the rest of assets that they still possessed. Questionable is that new trademarks were not far from trademarks now owned by bank (A). Both names of "cloned" brands of Company (B) and their visual identity was so close to those owned by bank (A) that they should have never passed trademark registration process. But at least Company (B) "understood" that trademark is the easiest and least valuable asset of any brand. But they missed the point that brand always is a totality of all identity and asset elements. Identity elements included in trademark are cheapest, but that does not mean you can restore them overnight if trademark is taken away especially if old trademarks still exist as certain values among customers regardless the fact that they are not available on the market for more than one year. New brands behind newly established trademarks cannot expect fast jump to the value position of old brands with old but memetically still existing old trademarks.

What could we say about Company (C) buying trademarks from Bank (A)? What else than that they have spend some money for something that has in fact no value since trademarks were detached from other brand assets.

One can though imagine reasoning of Company (C). I guess they take assets like people and different types of knowledge and expertise accumulated in any brand (and not in a frozen trademark) are liability only. While it is true that each asset represent a liability on cash flow, it is also true that certain assets are simply necessary for added value creation. And we have to know that brands create value, while trademarks can never! You cannot get much from nothing. And trademark is not much more than nothing. They thought that they cut costs by buying only trademarks and by avoiding to take responsibility for people that cost much more since they have higher value being attached to a brand that used to have quite high value. As we know a constant co-branding process takes place between a brand and people working for that brand. Higher brand value, higher the price for people working for that brand - and vice versa. Should you wish to have high valued brand, you cannot avoid having costs that necessary come with such a brand.

Lessons:

Brands are complex entities that exist on memetic level, but can not be detached from their physical existence.
Physical existence is expressed as brand asset, but such brand asset has certain value only as much as is placed in memetic reality at the same time. If one reality loses a connection with another, brand loses its value.
Brand exist only if all identity elements synchronize. If certain identity elements disappear or if some are much weaker than another, then brand loses its power.
A product (or service) is a physical entity that is necessary element of any brand as much as trademark.
How come managements and their supervisory boards do not understand these simple branding laws?

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Brand and trademark

The most plain distinction between trademark and brand is whether one is living or not. Brand is living whereas trademark is not.
Brand is a meme complex, that lives on the substrate of brains and that enables repeating and repeatable neuron activities in such a way that a system of activities attributed to one brand is different to a system of another.
As such, meme complex "brand" produces its own phenotypes as emergencies. These emergencies appear as artifacts, that are then perceived as moments of truth of that brand.
Brand is living as it replicates itself in a competition with other brands on the principles of evolution that are: longevity, fecundity and fidelity (Dawkins, S. Blackmore). We do help brands to emerge, but when emerged, they pursue their own independent life, fuelled by their customers.

It follows then that you can prepare a "how to do it" recipe book for trademarks but not for brands. It follows that any title that promises easy solutions like: three steps to..., seven lessons for, or nine rules for... is not only misleading but a disgrace of 100.000 years of human evolution.

This is brandlife.

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First 10 of you willing to give me a feedback on a book I have just published on Amazon, will receive free copy of a book as an Amazon Gift. Send a request here or directly, and it is yours in matter of hours.
Why?
It is a book that is a branding manual, but is a philosophy of branding as well. It is strongly embedded in marketing, but has roots in evolutionary biology and systems dynamics. There are many case studies in it, but one should not take it as a simple copy/paste source.
I would not mind if you buy it, but I am willing to give it for free in exchange for some straightforward feedback.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B9O57NK?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=nav_timeline_asin
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A person on a picture is an essence of branding. His brand, god Chamundi Mahavishnu, is detached from a physical body. A brand is a story physically tied to a body and as such becomes one with the body. The man is brand vehicle and brand itself at the same time. But on the other hand this example clearly shows that a brand is much more than a sign or a logo. It is much more than body attachment. It is a bundle of well connected (well tied) stories. This example also shows that stories do relate to one extremely specific audience (segment) that in fact constantly upgrades stories and brand itself. It is only the one that does not relate to that brand that can detach a brand from its vehicle. We can see brands detached while brand’s audience becomes part of it, immersed and as such unable to discern brand’s logic. They live in it while we outsiders try to understand (in vain).
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It might seems strange. It might really be strange.
But...
I am looking for one someone (or sometwo) who would be so kind and read approximately 250pages of BRANDLIFE, a soon to be book on branding and give me any kind of feedback on it.
There are couple of reasons for such a weird request:
1. I am not English native speaker (quite obvious) and so regardless of editing done by a professional I would not mind hearing how a native speaker handles with brandlife.
2. It is a book on branding, marketing, business modeling, evolutionary theory, physics and system dynamics. It gors about life, about philosophy of life. So in the end noone and everyone is BRANDLIFE's public. Should I not be curious. But it is still about branding so to ask rhis community makes sense I guess.

So I intended to send a PDF copy of a just about to be published book to anyone interested. I can not promise more - and I do not ask for anything but a sincere feedback.

Exchange is simple: PDF for a direct request.

Some hints:

brandlife


Brand’s mystery unveiled

Branding Standard Model© explained in detail by brand complex andrejdrapal.com



Whereabouts

Let us begin with confusions! 6
Why would a normal person be interested in marketing and branding? 7
Marketing practitioner 8
Marketing theorists and scholars 9
Students 10
Entrepreneurs 10
CEOs, CFOs, CHROs, CIOs, C(whatever)Os 11
Politicians and/or celebrities 11
Outsider 12
What the heck is branding? 13
Is a brand really something that lives? 17
Sex and lies and rock 'n' roll 21
Sex 21
Product brand vs service brand 24
Lies 26
We do not need a brand because we have an excellent product! 26
Branding is everything and production (a product) is nothing! 27
Our brand has low reputation, so let us change its visual identity! 27
We want a stronger brand so let us increase our promotion budget! 28
Brand equals brand architecture! 28
A brand can be reduced to a unique selling proposition! 29
Customers will tell us what kind of brands they want! 30
Rock 'n' roll 31
Identity and perception 32
How can you manage something that you do not possess? 35
Management of life in time perspective 36
Three-step branding process 39
Complex creation 39
Simple tools 40
Brand Identity 42
Brand Formula 42
Vision 43
Mission 48
Benefits 52
Comparative advantages 56
Competition 59
Values 60
Personality 64
Functional promises 66
Brand architecture 67
Objectivity fallacy 69
Replicas 70
Emotional promises 71
Experiential promises 73
Brand story 75
Shared story 75
The brand story should have some drama 78
Brand story knitting 79
Brand and egoism 81
Managing brand identity 84
How to define identity? 85
Who? 86
How? 88
Management insight 89
Second-level managers and leading coalition interviews 91
Leading coalition workshops 92
Lower-level brand integration 94
How often? 95
The use of external consultants 97
Brand users 97
Brand owner as a user 100
Internal users 102
External users (how does a brand happen in the consumer?) 103
Moments of truth 105
Trademark as brand protection 109
Product and/or service 112
Packaging 113
Price 114
Promotion 117
Placement 118
Customer service 120
Suppliers 121
Brand management 123
Managing brand identity (again) 123
Marketing 126
Who manages brands? 128
Managing moments of truth 130
Brand management in time perspective 133
Rebranding 135
Innovation 136
Variety of brands in relation to management 138
Consumer product and service brands 138
Corporate brands and B2B brands 139
B2G brands 140
Destination brands 141
Place branding 143
Political (party) brands 143
Personal brands 144
Public brands 145
Brand category 148
Commodity brands 149
Brand value, reputation and goodwill 150
Co-branding 152
Business model as an integral part of a brand 153
Governance 154
Capitals 155
Natural capital and man-produced capital 155
Human capital 156
Intellectual capital 157
Trademarks 157
Patents, copyrights 158
Value creation 159
Risk assessment 161
The role of branding in various business functions 162
Public relations 163
Brand measurement 165
Key Performance Indicators in practice 165
Integrated reporting as “natural” consequence of an integrated brand 167
Conclusion 171
Appendices 174
Branding and lobbying 174
Branding, ethics and morality 175
Last chapter 178
Suggested readings 181

A metaphor »invisible hand« coined by Adam Smith is one of those metaphors that caused more harm to the concept behind than any of possible opponent could.

Why?

This metaphor is strong, because it uses something that every human being can understand. Hand. Hand can be nothing but a tool of an agent. This agent can be either something physical, or something metaphysical, like God. In each case we can not attach hand to something, that is not an agent. We can not perceive a hand without a specific force with a specific interest, agent.

A concept developed by Smith and later by many others goes directly in the opposite direction than to understand any kind of agent behind the market. The essence of a market is the fact, that there is no agent behind, like there is no agent behind human brains. There is no central command of human brains. There is no agent behind human brains. Human brains are a part of a larger network (meme complex) and are reproducing this network, coevolving meme complex. Market is an emergent property of a complex system of values being there for the sake of exchange.

This is why it is impossible that a deist could really understand and (or) support free market economy. Either he or she believes in an invisible hand (of God) and thus contradicts the concept of free market, or he or she apprehend free market and thus exclude any option of such a God that would have any influence on human life. Because: the essence of human life is an exchange of goods. If this exchange is forced, if values are centrally dictated, than this is not exchange any more, but dictatorship. If God provides the value of any thing, then this is not human value any more. Human values are emergent property of »us« only if they are result of exchange on the free market of values. If we understand that there is no difference between value of meme and the value of a good; if we understand that the value of a good is encapsulated in the value of a brand (meme), than we see, that we do live in one market only: free market of a meme exchange. No invisible hand is ruling this market. We are our own enemies (and friends).

I would dare to state that exactly fear of  »me« being the only responsible agent is the cause that humanity dreams about any kind of invisible hand that would relieve »me« from this responsibility. That is why we do love to talk about humanism (something abstract, there somewhere..) and not homonism, that clearly places individual responsibility.

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A metaphor »invisible hand« coined by Adam Smith is one of those metaphors that caused more harm to the concept behind than any of possible opponent could.

Why?

This metaphor is strong, because it uses something that every human being can understand. Hand. Hand can be nothing but a tool of an agent. This agent can be either something physical, or something metaphysical, like God. In each case we can not attach hand to something, that is not an agent. We can not perceive a hand without a specific force with a specific interest, agent.

A concept developed by Smith and later by many others goes directly in the opposite direction than to understand any kind of agent behind the market. The essence of a market is the fact, that there is no agent behind, like there is no agent behind human brains. There is no central command of human brains. There is no agent behind human brains. Human brains are a part of a larger network (meme complex) and are reproducing this network, coevolving meme complex. Market is an emergent property of a complex system of values being there for the sake of exchange.

This is why it is impossible that a deist could really understand and (or) support free market economy. Either he or she believes in an invisible hand (of God) and thus contradicts the concept of free market, or he or she apprehend free market and thus exclude any option of such a God that would have any influence on human life. Because: the essence of human life is an exchange of goods. If this exchange is forced, if values are centrally dictated, than this is not exchange any more, but dictatorship. If God provides the value of any thing, then this is not human value any more. Human values are emergent property of »us« only if they are result of exchange on the free market of values. If we understand that there is no difference between value of meme and the value of a good; if we understand that the value of a good is encapsulated in the value of a brand (meme), than we see, that we do live in one market only: free market of a meme exchange. No invisible hand is ruling this market. We are our own enemies (and friends).

I would dare to state that exactly fear of  »me« being the only responsible agent is the cause that humanity dreams about any kind of invisible hand that would relieve »me« from this responsibility. That is why we do love to talk about humanism (something abstract, there somewhere..) and not homonism, that clearly places individual responsibility.
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How peculiar branding is! Ljubljana became top EU tourist destination due to good brand management of many particularities that became recognized and appreciated. But then for me, living here for decades, I feel proud of recognition, but at the same time feel displaced by qualities that tourist bring in. Brand is owned by brand users i do not co-own Ljubljana any more.
Photo was taken ueaterday strolling around. There were more music stages in tiny Ljubljana yesterday than in London, I believe. Yin and Yang. Hope I was able to explain this peculiar nature of brands in my #brandlife.
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There is a saying that a man should write a book, plant a tree and have a child. It does not matter if it was Picasso that coined it. At least not for me. It is not valuable because of an author. You simply have to relate to it. And for most of my life it was easy to set my score on 0/3.

But then a book came. Not that I would not publish a lot from earliest possible times. I guess I've got some of my writings published in school newsletters when I was 13 or there around. And not much later some poems and not much later tons of book, film and theatre reviews in various Slovenian newspapers. But first book came only in 2009, If I skip few that I only co-authored. Anyway: 1/3.

I never was much of a gardener. I helped grandmother with lettuce and mother with her vineyard, but Concepts of wood are much closer to me than wood itself. Until I got a small plant you now see on this photo as grown enough to be presented. It is not just a tree. It is accacia. And as acacia it is much more a concept than a wood. Important concept. But still it can not avoid being a tree at the same time. So: one only to go!

But this one is tough one. We do not have children and I guess it is by nature a "bit" too late to have one. Even if an adoption would be an option, that would not really complete the task. But then again, according to Richard Dawkins Discovery of memes as second replicators that are unique replicators for humans, and since I tend to belong to humans, I decided that my memes attached to different media that will hopefully last longer than one physical body life suffice to conclude: mission accomplished.

Brainchildren!
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