Monday, March 17, 2008

The History of a Brand

Valeria over at Conversation Agent wrote an interesting post about the Guy Kawasaki/Steve Ballmer 'chat' at MIX'08.

You can catch the conversation here, it's an interesting interview. Very candid.

Valeria's post was about one of Guy's comments to Steve, that 14 years olds think Microsoft is cool because all they know is Xbox and Halo - they think Microsoft is a games company! I can't comment on whether this is true or not (my list of 14 year old friends isn't that long - something I need to work on), but it wouldn't surprise me that there is a generation of younger consumers who don't know anything about the history of Microsoft, the operating system wars, or what life was like before the Internet. And not that they need to know this. It's history now - gradually turning into myth.

Valeria's lesson from this comment was that 'to new customers, your company has no legacy'.

I think this is true. And I think that companies that trade on their legacy find it increasingly difficult to define themselves for new generations of consumers.

You would think this would be a reason to constantly remind the market where you came from and who you are. But it's not. It's actually an opportunity to make yourself relevant again.

I personally hate it when a brand tries to persuade me of its long history and relevance over the years - if I wasn't part of that, it means nothing! I have no nostalgia for events I never witnessed or took part in.

Making yourself relevant to a new generation of consumers means taking ideas that worked in the past and giving them a contemporary context. Not rolling out an historical one and telling me it's still relevant.

Your brand's history is only an asset for customers that lived it.

Digg this
Sphere: Related Content

No comments: