Branded in 1926

Last month my family and I were honored to get together and celebrate my grandma’s 90th birthday. Born in 1926, she has lived through the Great Depression, WWII, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Apollo 11 moon landing.

To help her celebrate, we held a party filled with activities honoring her birth year including a 1926 trivia game. My aunt also put 1926 goodie bags together. The goodies were items from companies or brands founded in 1926, and included signed posters from the Harlem Globetrotters, pins from the IGA and HomeTrust Bank, Mt. Olive Pickles, Q-tips, Haggar Clothing, and candies such as Godvia chocolates, Milk Duds, Slo Poke, and Squirrel Nut Zippers.

As we stood around singing “Happy Birthday”, I realized we were marking my grandma’s 90 years on earth with brands! We were celebrating their achievements right beside hers. Associating their legacy with her. In today’s culture, consumerism begins when we are born. Even before we can speak and walk we are branded. We may later on choose our own brand identities by associating ourselves with products that match our changing lifestyle, but no longer are the days where we are simply known by the name our parents give us or by what we have achieved. Our personal identity – or brand – is made up of the products we consume and a product’s brand is made up of its users’ stories.


A few weeks later HomeTrust Bank wrote a short content piece highlighting the celebration and the gifts they sent. They shared the piece on social media along with a photo of my grandma holding the goods.

This is just one example of a company integrating a user’s story into their brand and using it to engage with customers. What are some creative ways you have seen brands engage with customers? What ways have you seen brands celebrate their anniversaries?

-Caroline Robinson


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