Heritage, authenticity, provenance. For brands, these words
represent the crux of their assets and difference. For the last
couple of years, these words have become firmly entrenched in the
strategic planner's lexicon as we comfort ourselves that past
success should assure us of a future. In seeking reassurance,
however, we should remember that in order to move forward, simply
haloing the past is not as safe an option as it might appear.
Brands need to be centred around relevance and that means what's
now and what's next.
2009 seems to be the year of the anniversary here in London. Two institutions, Selfridges and Marks and Spencer, are celebrating 100 years and 125 years respectively. While it remains to be seen how the seesaw fortunes of Marks and Spencer's will pan out, Selfridges campaign to mark the occasion "open to world since 1909" neatly delivers a double whammy of now and then: classic brand equity (classic advertising and logo, famous flash of yellow, iconic Oxford Street building) and today's most covetous currency, celebrity patronage (a campaign includes today's uber shoppers Paris Hilton, Mariah Carey and Elton John).
Sophie Maxwell's fashion background as a graduate and now guest lecturer at London's Central St Martins is put to daily use in her role as Head of Creative Insight at Pearlfisher.