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Declaration of Independence

Whether you’re celebrating July 4th with a traditional barbecue of hamburgers, hot dogs and apple pie, watching the Stars and Stripes on display at the parade down Main Street or sitting in a beach chair watching a fireworks display, personal branding isn’t a connection you’re naturally making with the birth of the nation.

But the Declaration of Independence is a model of successful branding.

In author Thomas Nichol’s new book, “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters,” makes the case for why the Declaration of Independence is such an important document for individuals as well as the nation.

In Avi Woolf’s review of “The Death of Expertise” on (, the connection is – to borrow a phrase – self-evident. “Nichols speaks of how people in the West have come to confuse political equality with absolute equality in ability, and how this leads to the self-righteous idea that they do not need to pay some heed to those with greater knowledge on individual topics. We have been so successful at embedding the idea of political equality that we have utterly failed to cement the idea of human moral equality—the idea that human beings are equal in essential value in a manner unrelated to their genetic gifts or social station. It is a notion expressed in political documents such as the Declaration of Independence and in biblical propositions such as the creation of Man in God’s image. People need a sense of self-worth that is independent of the question of whether they are right or wrong on public policy or in any given discussion.”(Emphasis added.)

And that is the basis of branding – establishing a sense of self-worth. It’s authenticity. It’s passion.

And when you go deeper and think of successful branding and marketing campaigns – shouldn’t the Declaration of Independence be on the top of every list.

It has clearly defined goals: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

A lot has changed in the country and the world, since this document was written more than 240 years ago. But the core principles remain.

Principles that were enumerated in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Viewed as marketing or branding statements – the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are examples of the constant struggle between purpose/strategy and execution.

As the last bursts of pyrotechnics explode overhead, think of your journey to a more perfect union.

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