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The World’s Oldest Brand

What would you say if I asked you to name the oldest brand in the world?

The cattle round ups romanticized in American motion pictures were primarily post Civil War affairs. But brands have been around long before their use on the old Chisholm Trail.

In fact, the oldest brand in the world is one that has been in continuous use in India since the Vedic period (ca. 1100 B.C. to 500 B.C).

Say what?

That’s right, contrary to what some may believe, the Vedic Hindis were not early technology adopters and this brand is not the long lost ancestor of Apple. Nor did they conduct their religious pilgrimages in electric-orange Air Jordans.

No, the oldest brand in the world is of course… a health supplement. It is called “Chyawanprash,” and is attributed to a revered Rishi (seer) named Chyawan. It was developed at Dhosi Hill, the site of a highly religious extinct volcano in Northern India.

Chyawanprash is an herbal paste made from a base of Amla, the Indian gooseberry. It has a high concentration of vitamin C and claims a wide array of health benefits.

Here’s a picture of a spoonful of Chyawanprash. Yum.

Who knew, right?

It’s possible that this may be a bit more than some of you wanted to know about Chyawanprash.

But dig it, this brand has been in continuous use for about 3,000 years. Go ahead, put the word into Google. They are still selling the stuff! Chyawanprash sales generate about $80 million a year in India. Will Snapple, the Jolly Green Giant, Microsoft or Starbucks still be around in 5013?

You’ll have to check back with me on that, but meanwhile, you have to admit, this brand’s got some serious legs.

Which brings us to the subject of branding.

Branding, the marketing mantra of the last few decades, is essentially creating and then planting the name of your product, or company into the mind of your prospects.

To be more precise, the definition of branding from businessdictionary.com is, “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”

Branding is rather a cross between advertising and PR. You get your name out there so when Mrs. Stepford thinks of buying soap, she buys Dial.

It’s not direct solicitation, it’s propelling your brand into the minds of your prospects and priming the pump for sales later. All things being equal, I prefer the sale now, but branding has it’s uses.

Here’s one powerful example:


(Give the video a moment to load).

Awesome branding, says I.

A brand must have a position, a place in the mind of your customers and prospects for what it is you sell. If your brand has not staked its own claim in the mind of your public, if you are not who your prospects instantly think of when they consider buying something in your category of commerce, you should call us.

Placing your brand in the mind of your public is what we do.



Bruce Wiseman

CEO On Target Research