Good Brands – or Brands we think are good?

PSFK has released its Good Brands report for 2009.  Let’s be clear they do point out that the report covers those brands that PSFK write about a lot and then asks for a judgement call from the community, but I’m not sure that qualifies these as being Good Brands.

For instance, driving down publishing revenues to generate mass income over a vast list, thereby directly putting out of business small independent book shops, you know, the kind you love to shop in on Marylebone High Street but lament the loss of in Towcester – Direct result of the voracious business appetite that is Amazon. How Good is that?

Or Facebook, well it certainly does good business but actively Good? What about Dopplr? What about Or the BBC? They embody every one of the attributes identified and can be more objectively defined as “Good” with a capital G.

This is  semantics I suppose but I feel like this is a valuable report for us to be inspired by innovators at the top of their game, but I think its brands that PSFK think are good, not Good Brands.


2 thoughts on “Good Brands – or Brands we think are good?”

  1. Is Amazon really destroying second hand bookshops? I was amazed when they opened up their ‘Buy used or new’ functionality, opening up their customer base to thousands of small independent shops and showing how often Amazon prices can be beaten.

    Sure, they get a cut of the revenue, but to me, this is innovation for good – encouraging reuse and fostering specialist/out-of-print bookshops.

    It mightn’t have helped your bookshop in Towcester, but I reckon it’s been the saving of plenty of other independent reatilers. Any stats to prove my hypothesis welcomed, Mr Bezos.

    1. Yes it really is destroying independent bookshops (but second hand bookshops would be part of that – you are twisting my statements Tom!)

      “Amazon has won many book lovers to its massive range and deep discounting. But it’s worth remembering how it does this. It is not the result of some revolutionary new method. In fact it is old fashioned classic capitalism—Amazon has carved out the market by slashing prices and offering loss leaders to crush opposition, going for years without making any profits.

      Then, once they have wiped the competition out, it can charge and stock whatever it likes. And behind the “dot com miracle” image is a traditional low paid non-unionised workforce, forced into long hours, overtime and to reach quotas of 500 e-mails an hour.

      Unions trying to organise at Amazon face an aggressive management claiming they are creating an “uncooperative attitude”. During one union recognition ballot, staff were kitted out with T-shirts telling the union to “get back in the history books”. One Amazon worker in the US at the time said, “They are a cutting edge e-company and also a throwback to old 1930s anti-unionism. They keep trying to label the union movement as an evil outside force.”

      It’s largely about their pricing and their ability to force costs down – just like the supermarkets did to the market gardening industry back in the 70s. What market gardening industry? I hear you say. Exactly. The UK hardly has one any more.

      Here is a more recent direct example from a town you might think would have enough middle-class NIMBY types to ensure an indie bookshop would survive easily.

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