25 Jan 2006

brand archives

This very interesting article i came across via brand new argues that company archives serve as institutional records of both successes and failures of the past, just the way public museums help societies hold onto their cultural and historical moments. And this is a big deal, because, just as Christina Fong, an assistant professor in the business school at the University of Washington in Seattle puts it: "Companies that can really leverage from the information stored in their archives can do things like prevent past mistakes and use older ideas. Those types of things can really help them to succeed in the marketplace." The example of Nike is very powerful: they intend to build an archive containing a pair of shoes from every model they've ever made.
going further, gareth kay launches a very interesting theory: if brands are now building physical archives, shouldn't they also be building intellectual archives, especially since people coming and going (mostly from marketing departments) often create continuity gaps? He thinks that planners and strategists can help develop this process by developing "brand story books and videos that really capture the brand rather than the normal practice of a detailed, thick but uninspiring and two dimensional powerpoint deck and brand guidelines book." If only such methods started being implemeted in the agency where i work...
update: russell davies' thoughts on the matter here.

No comments: