History…from the future.


The problem with history is it’s being made now.  And because it is happening now, no one sees it as historic. The heinous crimes going on today in the Central African Republic are historic. It is Rwanda of 9 years ago, but because it’s happening now, they are seen as a horrid day on the news cycle — not viewed with the context it will be.

Brand Planners need to think historically. Historically, from the future. I like to think that great leaders, the ones about whom biographies are written, have an expanded, longer term view of things. They can remove themselves from the here and now and see bigger pictures…see today within larger context.

Brand planners approach their work this way. They are not pipe smoking academics – heads in cloud – they are charged with seeing beyond the dashboard, beyond the metrics of the day (though certainly guided and informed by them). Only then can they guide the now and the mission. Results today sans mission are serendipity. And brand false. (I loved Barry Diller’s recent quote to Tina Brown, “Enough about traffic.”)

Brand plans grow, mature and adapt. Like children, they are fortified by family and environment. Great plans without great products are few and far between, but not unheard of. (Know of any? Feel free to share.)

Now, wash your hands and go make some history. Peace!