Brands Are Identities

Why is there so much animosity towards founders of a successful business getting rewarded for their hard work and willingness to take a risk?

This is so common in the craft community.

The way that I see it is that it's not a business assessment, it's an emotional response to your brand changing into something that you don't approve of.

Brands are identities, and people take on the identities of the products they wear, the teams they support, etc… When that changes, it feels personal because it is personal! We liked knowing Bob and Jerry built this brewery from their garage into one of the coolest spots downtown, and we always brought our friends there, because we identified with Bob and Jerry and beer.

Now Bob and Jerry aren't around much anymore, but the spot is still cool, the local kids they hired make it fun, the beer is still great. And then Big Beer buys it, corporatises it, minimum wage employees, conduct policies, beer is consistently good but nothing fun is coming out of the brewery anymore, the social media is conspicuously watered down in edginess, you get the picture.

The brand you loved has changed, even though it promised it wouldn't.

At that point it's not always a simple matter of turning elsewhere, it's personal. They promised. Now you have to let the world know how stabbed in the back you feel. You have to let everyone know that you have something to show for all those years of brand loyalty, your dignity. It has nothing to do with the breweries selling out, it is always about the individual and their disappointment, anger, frustration, grief, and so on.

In that sense maybe it makes a little more sense why someone would stop supporting a certain brand, and say awful things about it publicly.

I love good beer, I'm incapable of caring less who made it. My cousin brews awesome beer and I still like what some of Goose Island does, doesn't matter to me.