Observing zillions of Indian brands written partly in one of their languages and writings that I do not understand helped me to grasp brand ontology better. It became crystal clear that:
Brands live their life on their own. They are objective entities and not ghosts or subjective imaginations.
They objectively exist (“an sich” in Kantian terminology) but do not necessarily exist for me. They exist for me only if they interact with me. Whether interaction happens depends on whether attractors exist between their vector and my identity, actualized as my personal memetic field. Like in chemistry, water does not interact with oil but interacts well with lemon juice.
Interaction happens through the totality of sensual perceptions (precepts) but gets its memetic value only as conceptualized. That explains interaction from my point of view. For obvious reasons, I cannot define interaction from the point of view of identity that I am interacting with since I am not that identity.
It follows that the saying “perception is reality” should be reformulated with “conception is reality.” Perception is real and stays out of our memetic reach.
The third point makes clear that although I am a brand in the eyes of all other individuals, I am not a brand for myself. I am objective (“an sich”) that executes for others as a brand. They perceive me through sensual perceptions but really see me only as a mental concept, meme, or brand. Even for myself, “me” exists only as a brand. What I feel is already a conceptualization of the feel. My physicality is unattainable even though it is a prerequisite for my memetic mentalization.
While brands exist objectively for them, they coexist for us on a memetic level. They coevolve with our memes. They are true viruses of our minds (Dawkins). Brands exist “only” as another side of our mental existence as much as we exist only (?) as another side of our life.
Symmetry breaks (like in physics) in that we humans represent the only external memetic reality, while brands represent only a part of our external memetic reality for us. Not all memes are brands.
Memes collapse into meaning when they enter a memetic field, like particles collapse when measured by a detector in a collider.
This opens the interesting question of whether we as humans (memetic creatures) could exist without brands. Yes, in principle (perception), but not in reality (conception).
Let us be clear: This Indian experience was not a revelation. Brandlife rests on such theoretical grounds.
I found this experience important mainly because it allowed me to make my thought experiment more down to earth. You know there is a brand behind a brand that is presented by introducing a photo to this post. You can even feel that the brand behind it must probably do something with some school or another system that rewards youth. You feel emotions behind this brand and a part of personality. But you cannot grasp its functional promise, comparative advantage, and even less vision and mission.
This example proves that brands can live only as the totality of their identity traits, as a complex of memes constituting the brand’s living body. There is never only one unique selling proposition (USP) or a couple of them.
No smaller entity than the totality of a brand exists. A brand is its own USP. What I call nine brand elements exist only in totality of their interrelations. Devoid of interrelations, each loses its function as a brand element. A brand is an indivisible complex entity.
For the reason of the Conclusion 2, brands are fractal-like. This is not a surprise since memes are fractal-like.
Identity is the cornerstone of any memetic activity. All ideologies that avoid questions of identity end up as humanism. Such ideologies are prevailing in contemporary Western societies. All ideologies that take identity as a cornerstone of humanity will eventually end up as homonism.