Robert Wagner, now with this Wagner, an actor of standing, a man of deep and relentless talent, this sort of thing doesn’t happen. Ok, so it happens all the time. Never mind.
But what was really distressing was the conversation at dinner. I listened to people talk about how very confusing things are inside some corporations, how little clarity is brought to bear on critical questions of the brand.
It’s as if there’s no system. The marketing people, often MBAs, are reduced to issuing "make it so" pronouncements. Because, chances are, they don’t know how to "make it so." Let’s hope someone else does.
Business schools are not very forthcoming on this one. What is the brand? How does the brand speak for the marketing team and the corporation? How does it speak to the consumer, in all of his/her/their blooming? How does the brand keep it’s center of gravity in a culture that looks more and more like the Bermuda triangle in hurricane season. (Brands disappear! We don’t know why!) This is a complicated business about which the business school offers merely a chapter here and there, and at best a course in the second year.
But really it’s up to kids without much preparation to preside over the brand, and they are making a hash of it. Just ask anyone who works with them.
Brands, they are really, really, really hard to do well. Very smart people, with great training, working at the top of their game, with magnificent colleagues and limitless resources can still get it wrong. When is the business school world going to snap out of it and get this right?
When Wagner sings Wagner at the MET, that would be my guess. Maybe we should just start again.