Tag Archives: branding

Making a culturematic of yourself (the Nick Sherrard way)

Everyone constructs an identity on line.  

Some do it with wit and panache.  

Others, mea culpa, are more plodding and less interesting.

This morning I laughed out loud when I read Nick Sherrard’s description of himself on Twitter.

Note: CCTV refers to the system of cameras that blankets the UK.   We see Nick standing one of the few places in Britain that does not appear on CCTV, aka the moral high ground (at sea level).  

(Post script: thanks to Barbara Monteiro, Connie Perry, and Sarah Fogarty for a great conversation yesterday.)  

Innovation the culturematic way

Here’s my recent post on the HBR website.  

It’s about a clever renovation at the St. Regis hotel.

This is, I believe, a great example of creating innovation through a knowledge of culture and a shift in perspective.

See the full text by CLICKING HERE.

Pizza boxes: the new trojan horse?

Have a look at this “Food for thought” card, please. There it is at the bottom of the screen. It appeared recently with my store-bought pizza.

Optimism, action, imagination and conversation, all of these are good things.  And I agree that food is an important link with the world.  

But I was a little surprised to hear about them from my pizza box.  Yes, I get it.  Food, planet, environment, this is a new trinity.  Respecting this trinity through an overhaul of lifestyle is the new desideratum.  Check.  Caring about this thing and encouraging other people to care about it too, this is the new orthodoxy.  I not only get this.  I subscribe to it.

But there is something unseemly about being instructed in this sort of thing by a brand. There is presumption of familiarity.  For the brand to speak to me in this tone means that the brand must know me.  There is also a presumption of asymmetry.  In our relationship, the brand knows better.  Finally, there is that recitation of the new cosmology: that stuff about food connecting us to the world.  

I agree with everything being said (give or take).  But I am a little uncomfortable when these things are being said to me…by a brand.  

Unless of course there really is a new orthodoxy and certain powers are entitled to recite this orthodoxy and the rest of us are obliged to listen to it.  And if that’s the case, someone forgot to tell me.

Apparently, I missed that box.  

Tongues untied (tech to the rescue)

I am not a gifted conversationalist.

I carry on every conversation as if it were bomb disposal.

One false move.  One stray remark.  And it’s all going to end in free fall.

This must be why I’ve always thought that social actors should have a "prompter" the way actor actors do.

You know, for those awful moments when we don’t know what to say.

The prompter would, er, prompt us.

"Say ‘I love your dress.’  No, dress!"

You often see people who have run out of things to say.  Or you see people who have been driven back on the cliches.

Yesterday, thanks to fresh ethnographic wedding data from Tim Sullivan, I was tweeting about "Woo girls."  These people are really running on empty.  They are defined (perhaps unfairly) be the predictability of the things they say and the sounds they make.  Indeed, these women are now the targets of TV satire.  These women really need prompting.

Bar tenders are astoundingly good at creating and managing conversation.  It is an unofficial part of their job description.  I have sat with lots of them as they told me how they can see a twosome or a party of 4 coming undone.  Their job is to intervene and reanimate the conversation.  They supply this service so routinely we might as well call them emergency personnel standing by.

I’ve always felt that brands could and should get in on the act.  After all, they are often keenly interested in the outcome of the event in question.  Carbonated soft drinks are largely about making the effervescence of the product the effervescence of the event.  Successful social events are good for the brand.  The Coke brand is well served when things go better with Coke.  

I have pitched more than one client on the idea that we could use cell phones to drop conversational prompts into social situations.  If people wanted to, they could sign up for text messages and they could then speak the message that appeared on their phone.  It would by funny and fun, and it would remove chuckleheads from harm’s way.  

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to hear about the Conversacube.  This is invented by Lauren McCarthy.  This is how McCarthy describes her invention

The Conversacube is a small box meant to form the centerpiece of any conversation situation. The box sits in the middle of all conversants, with one face facing each person. Each outward face of the box has a small screen and a microphone embedded just inside. As the conversation progresses, each person is personally prompted with directions or lines to keep the conversation running seamlessly with minimal awkward or uncomfortable moments. The microphones monitor audio levels of each participant and the cube responds accordingly, adjusting prompts to enliven, mediate conflict, or balance conversation as necessary.

Brilliant or what?  Marketers, start your engines.  

References

Anonymous.  n.d. "Woo girl" defined.  Urban Dictionary.  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=woo+girl

A clip from How I Met Your Mother "Woo girls at the bar" http://fliiby.com/file/124875/35932da1l8.html

More details on the Conversacube and Ms. McCarthy here http://conversacube.com/

The John-Boy Problem in corporate America

Imagine this.

Let’s say we are a luxury car company.  We’re doing a year-end review of marketing.  We’re looking at everything, including person who supplies the “voice over” for our ads.

The room is filled with around 25 people.  This room is mostly Boomers with 8 Gen Xers and 4 Gen Yers (aka Millennials). 

“I say we stay with John-Boy,” says the most powerful person in the room.  There is a pause as other Boomers nod their heads sagely.  Richard Thomas has been the voice of the brand for many years. 

But Generations X and Y are thinking, “Who the hell is John-Boy?”  They don’t say anything.  Then the penny drops.  “Oh, they must mean that guy Richard Thomas.”

Their confusion is forgivable.  Richard Thomas starred in a TV series called The Waltons, a show that ended in 1981.  That’s almost thirty years ago.   The oldest Generation Xer was 20 in 1981, the youngest was born that year.  No member of Generation Y was watching TV in 1981.  For Generation Z, Richard Thomas might as well be a Martian.

For half the room, Richard Thomas is just “some guy.”  Actually, he’s just “some guy” for half the country.  Certainly, it’s true that Boomers buy most of the luxury cars in this country, but this will not last.  And in the meantime, we have 3 generations listening to a voice that means nothing to them.  And this is just odd.  As they mature towards the age and income, the corporation insists in addressing them in a voice they do not recognize. 

I believe this problem plays out in the corporate world several times a day.  Boomers make choice that work for their culture, for the world they know.  And the other half of the room (and the market) is left to wonder, “Who is the hell is John-Boy?”

The John-Boy problem is bigger than it seems.  The American corporation is not just bad at youth culture, it’s out of touch with a good deal of the American world.  It doesn’t have any real feeling for the ethnic variety of America, the alternative and indie movements, the constant ebb and flow of lifestyle, the churn in the sports world.  What is happening in the world of music, film, sports (post arena), art, and social media?  For that matter, what is happening in the kitchens of the American heartland?  Even this is changing.  Even this is mysterious.

The corporation needs to know.  It’s not enough to bring in the cool hunters and trend consultants.  They have no vested interests.  Frankly, they disdain the corporation for being clueless.  No, the corporation need its own internal brain trust, stock of knowledge, and enduring mastery of American culture.  Anything else is just guessing.  And guessing is something the corporation is not allowed to do.  

post script:

This post was erased by the Network Solutions debacle.  I just retrieved it from Gmail.  

post post script:

Mercedes made John Hamm the voice of the Mercedes ads.

“It” extraction (killing a brand softly)

Last week, quietly and without fanfare, ThinkPad decided not to renew its flagship model, the X301. 

The X301 is a beautiful machine.  It has that wonderful ThinkPad keyboard, a huge screen, and it weighs only a little bit more than a ballet slipper.  It is a miraculous demonstration of what design and engineer can do.

And now it’s done for.  Lenovo is proposing the ThinkPad T410s as the x301s replacement.   When called upon to explain himself, Lenovo Marketing Director, Wang Lipin said that T400 series was more powerful than the x301, and cheaper by a thousand dollars.

The trouble: the T400 doesn’t have “it” quality.  It is a business machine in the most pedestrian sense of the term.  No trace of elegance.  No claim to being the pick of the technological litter.  No “wow” factor.  The T410 is just another business machine. 

This takes us into one of the thorniest issue in the branding world.  What is “it?”  And what’s “it” worth? 

It’s a difficult discussion because “it” is inscrutable.  We can point to “it.”  We know “it” when we see it.  But when it comes to anatomizing, measuring, and pricing “it,” well, this proves difficult and all the marketing and pricing models break down. 

This would be a mere irritation if “it” weren’t such a gusher in the tech world.  But it is.  All of us can buy a phone that is smarter, faster and cheaper than the iPhone.  But none of these has “it” status.  We may not be able to measure “it,” but we don’t hesitate to pay the premium it demands of us.  

Apple turns out to be pretty good at “it.”  In fact, Apple now pretty much owns “it” in the computer world at the moment. 

Except when it come to the lightest, full function lap top.  The Apple entry in this category, the MacBook Air, is a pretty good machine.  But that’s all it is.  A pretty good machine.  It doesn’t have “it.”  Until last week, that belonged to ThinkPad.

So why did Lenovo perform an “it” extraction?  That’s clear enough.  It was making a rational business decision.  It was applying a pricing model.  It may well have been working from Robert Dolan’s exemplary text book on the topic.  This was a perfectly sensible marketing decision.

But it was of course an absolutely disastrous business decision, one that may cost Lenovo dearly.  When Lenovo took the “it” out of ThinkPad, it gave up the only branding advantage it had over Apple.   Sadder still, it destroyed much of the brand value that prompted Lenovo to buy ThinkPad from IBM in the first place.  Having taken on a brand that would help it fight its way out of the commodity basement, it has now descended into that commodity basement, slamming the door behind it as it goes. 

Lenovo’s “it extraction” was a good, rational, pricing decision.  But if we are not protecting “it” when our designers and engineers gift us with it, if we are not building the brand that protects us from the commodity basement, our decision, rational by some narrow standard, is wildly irrational by any broader one. 

Commerce isn’t good at imponderables.  And “it” is nothing if not imponderable.  The fault lies largely on the side of the design house and the ad agency.  When asked to measure and account for “it,” and every cultural moments has it’s its (it girls, it brands, it activities, it restaurants, it industries), designers and agency people demurred.  “Oh, listen, don’t bother your pretty little heads about it,” they said to the client.  “This is what you pay us for.  We’ll keep track of it.  You just get product on the shelf.”  (If only they had a Chief Culture Officer.)

So it’s not entirely surprising that pricing models don’t have anything to say about “it."  And it’s not surprising that senior managers boot this sort of decision with some frequency.  But when you think about how much value “it” creates for us, how essential it is to the life of the corporation, and how much there is at stake in terms of careers and brands, isn’t it time we did better?   

Put these on the business conference agenda.  What is it?  What’s it worth?  How do we price it?  How do we manage it?  In the meantime, hire a CCO.  

References

Dolan, Robert J., and Hermann Simon. 1997. Power Pricing. Free Press.  

Lai, Richard. 2010. “Lenovo ThinkPad X300 series to be phased out, replaced by T400 this year.” Engadget. here. (Accessed July 21, 2010).

McCracken, Grant. 2009. Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation. Basic Books.  

Hobbes, John. 2010. “BREAKING: Lenovo ThinkPad X301 to be discontinued, supplanted by T410s.” Logic ThinkPad. July 13. here. (Accessed July 21, 2010).

Virtual worlds as branding engines

I was talking to a smart marketing guy in San Jose and we were talking about how to craft brands in the Cluetrain era, now that we can’t shout at the consumer until they "get it."

Most of the properties being created in the social media space are haunted by a problem.  They are designed to be companionable and interesting.  They are intended to be something the consumer will like well enough to repurpose for their own purposes.

When this, being companionable and being useful, is the condition of entry, we know that we can not honk the brand horn loudly.  Indeed it’s not even clear we can mention it in anything more than a whisper.  Anything more forthcoming makes us conspicuous and the marketing property disagreeable and distinctly not the kind of thing the consumer wishes to distribute through their own networks, under their own names, as it were.

The solution I personally love is putting virtual worlds on line.  I love the idea of building a world that people can discover and examine and perhaps inhabit.  It should be beautiful, filled not with puzzles or violence, but with subtle little clues that allows the visitor to glimpse and then by dint of their own imaginations complete.  

The Sophie project I did at the Coca-Cola company was designed to work this way.  We created the home of a creature who was half goddess, half teenage girl.  The visitor wouldn’t actually ever meet Sophie.  But there was lots of evidence with which to understand who she was and how she acted in and on the world.  Someone stormed in and turned the thing into a TV show, or tried to, and that was the end of that.

But Sophie lives on.  These worlds are rich, participative, cocreative, mansions within mansions.  In a world this rich and this generous, the brand can make the occasion appearance, garner recognition, extract, dare I use this word, marketing value, and then make itself scarce.  When there is something much going on, when the world in question is so fabulously endowed with imaginative resources, the brand couldn’t "barge in" if it wanted to.  

I would love to hear from readers about virtual worlds that might quality.  I haven’t ever seen a Second Life that seemed to fit the bill.  I loved the atmospherics of Blade Runner and the beauty of Myst.  I like the endless nooks and crannies of GTA.  But none of these ends up a world that feels endless interesting and explorable.  But then I don’t get out much.  Please if you know good cases in point, sing out.  

Brands behaving badly: the case for messiness

By this time, all the world is objecting to the proposal from G.M. to dump "Chevy" and hew to "Chevrolet."  it’s such a manifestly bad idea, it might actually be calculated to provoke the great linguistic love fest soon to follow.

But we can take issue not just with the what of the decision but the why.  Richard Chang of the Times gives us the memo from inside G.M.  It comes from the desk of Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet sales and service, and Jim Campbell, the G.M. division’s vice president for marketing.

“When you look at the most recognized brands throughout the world, such as Coke or Apple or instance, one of the things they all focus on is the consistency of their branding,” the memo said. “Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer.”

I beg to differ.  Brands did once labor to present the same face in every medium and all markets.  In the second half of the 20th century, the world of marketing and especially design was all about consistency.  This is what the corporation paid us for: to get their semiotic ducks in a row.

That was the 20th century.  Brands now want to be many things to many people.  They are called upon to adapt in real time.  Some overarching supervision is called for.  But we want the brand to give off a certain vitality, vivacity, charisma even.  And these things, as we know, come more surely from complexity than consistency. 

Naturally, this makes the marketer’s job more difficult.  In the old days, once the choice was made, due diligence was all about policing the departures that were sure to spring up in every corner of the corporation.  Now, it’s managing a bundle of sometimes discordant meanings, expressed with a variety of various visuals (and audibles). 

"Chevy" is a worthy part of this bundle.  Nay, it has deep roots in American culture.  This makes it a meaning most meaning managers would kill for.  

References

Chang, Richard.  2010.  Saving Chevrolet means sending "Chevy" to dump. June 10.  here.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Daniel Rosenblatt.

Tito’s versus Sailor Jerry (new cliches in the world of marketing)

A few years from now I think we will look back on the artisanal trend and spot a cliche.

Artisanal products believe themselves to be intrinsically interesting. They are in fact massively self absorbed. They do not tend to carry culture meanings except about themselves. Artisanal products, it’s all about them.

Exhibit A

Tito’s is a small run vodka now being made in Austin, Texas. It was recently written up in Wall Street Journal Magazine. The first thing that Tito’s wants you to know about itself is that its hand-made. I am never sure what this means when it comes to certain products. It sounds more laborious than crafted. What does it matter how the grain was stirred? A machine or by hand, it can’t matter to the vodka. Right?

The WSJ Magazine article is a marketer’s dream. This kind of coverage for this kind of audience!  Who could ask for anything more? This is hand made marketing!

But the story reads as all the artisanal stories do.  It recites the new cliches:

1. This brand is made in tiny batches in an obscure place. Check.

2. It is made by some guy who used to work for a giant corporation. Check.

In the Tito’s case, the guy is Tito Beveridge, a geophysicist worked for an oil company. Every time someone tells me about an artisanal chocolate, the maker seems to be a former NASA  or airline pilot.  And I think we are supposed to marvel on how this individual is found his or her artisanal salvation.They have followed their bliss out of the big bad corporation into something kinder and gentler. I’m not sure but I think we prefer to think of our artisanal producers as large and ambling, if men, and little and pretty, if women.  Look, not a threat to anyone!  Nit wit, please. 

3.  It is always premium priced and incredibly high end, because well someone seeking their artisanal salvation is not going to look for it in price cutting or any thing so vulgar as market competition.  The artisan is, it turns out, too good for capitalism of any conventional kind. Check.

4.  There is always a long period in the wilderness when the artisan struggles to keep his or her dream alive.  What a brave, devoted soul!  And finally of course there is triumph. Because the Romance playbook tell us that all acts of self sacrifice result in an apotheosis. Virtue becomes celebrity.  (Pursue the intrinsic and the world will reward you with the extrinsic.)  Check.

5. There is an odor of vanity and self importance about the brand and it’s maker…and, sorry, it’s consumer.  We are all so very special.  (Bitter?  A little.  Being a month without a blog hurt me, clearly.)  Check.

Traditionally, marketing has been about meaning making.  And recently we have seen marketers define brands with meanings ever more subtle and interesting.  But the artisanal trend seems to run against the flow.  There is only one meaning contained in an artisanal brand, the artisanal one.

There’s no question that this myth is a potent meaning and it adds to our story telling at the bar at a time when we like to be telling stories at the bar.  But damn it if it isn’t always the same story.  For some reason, the artisanal trend gives us license to make the back story the front story, even when it isn’t very interesting and even when we have heard it before. I guess it’s better than connoisseurship ("so very peaty!") but for how long?   

Which brings me to Sailor Jerry’s.  I got to hear its creator at the recent Piers Fawkes’ PSFK recent conference in New York City, and it was pretty interesting.  Steven Grasse struck me as being a bit of a mad scientist, my highest compliment these days.  But the brand isn’t about him.  It’s about Norman Collins, the man they call the master of the old school tattooing. Here’s what the Sailor Jerry website says about him

If you really want a true classic tattoo, you’ll have to go back in time and cross the Pacific. When your tramp steamer hits the port of Honolulu, jump ashore and head set straight to Chinatown. Soon, you’ll hit Hotel Street. You’ll know this by the sudden progression of wide-eyed sailors, foul-mouthed roughnecks, and general sanctioned mayhem. And there, tucked away on a steamy side street, you’ll see the bright red neon glow of “Sailor Jerry’s”- the tattoo shop that marked the fighting men of the Pacific for nearly 40 years.

Now that’s what I call a story.  Not some NASA engineer looking for redemption but a rough neck who lived surrounded by mayhem and the low life. Not a brand but a brander. Please start your story engines now.  

References

Carrigan, Janelle.  2010.  Proof of life.  Wall Street Journal Magazine.  March.  pp. 30-31.  

McCracken, Grant.  2006.  The Artisanal Trend and 10 things that define it.  This Blog. November 9.  here.

The source for the Sailor Jerry passage here.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Michael Margolis, I am thinking more about story telling these days.  See his website here.

Buy this product: we have writers standing by

Today Very Short List pointed us towards a site called Unhappyhipsters in which images like the one above are fetched from the pages of Dwell magazine and then given small narrative indicators that give them new meaning.

"It become their routine…"  Wonderful.

Last week, on the post on Significant Objects, I contemplated a commercial world in which new products came with narratives attached, new meanings, which we could use to reimagine our present circumstances.

I just bought a new bag from Tumi.  My last one gave up the ghost last week in Seattle.  I like the idea of getting messages from Tumi as it imagines the things that are or could be happening to me.  With a link to my TripIt file, Tumi could know where I am, even, if I allowed it, what hotel I was staying it.  With GPS location permission, I could have a rough idea of my circumstances.  All of this data makes it possible to feed me a stream of narrative suggestions that are plausible at least by time and place.

Oh, alright.  This isn’t quite right.  But the idea remains promising.  Consumer goods, thanks to brands and meaning makers in the world of marketing, have always come with meanings. And they will continue to do so.  But in addition to these quite general meanings, it is possible for the brand to communicate many more particular meanings.  As long as they some how resonate with what is happening in my life, they will be interesting and fun.  Animating, actually.

"We have writers standing by!"  When does this become a brand promise?

References

The Very Short List treatment is here.

The Unhappy Hipsters website is here.

Art of the Trench coat: unexpected lessons from the luxury brand

Thanks to Eminence Grise, I recently had a look at Burberry’s Art of the Trench.

It’s a lovely, brooding site, the kind of thing you browse with the restless, deeply jaded eye of a French cafe dweller, especially if you are like me an ancient roue.

I was too jaded to do a full reconnaissance.  (Plus, my view was sometimes blocked by American tourists.  Why must they torment my city with their graceless parkas and athletic shoes?  I mean, really.)

But I noticed this much..

In the beginning, the world of fashion was inhabited by models, impossibly tall, thin, elegant and beautiful, who were shot by professional photographers and then edited and air brushed by sharp eyed editors as a result of which transformation the models became still more tall, thin, elegant and beautiful.  Our job: to look on with drooling admiration, our face pressed against plate glass, a bitter autumnal wind tugging at our unforgivably unfashionable outfits, get-ups (and parkas).

The Art of the Trench marks two departures from this world.

The website features lots of photos of people in the Burberry trench.  Most of these photographs are taken by a professional photographer but they show "real people."

The notion here is that Burberry trench is no longer one perfect idea in Plato’s cave.  Actually, thanks to it’s must-have status in the world of the officer, the spy and the detective, it always had a second life as a friend of romance and adventure.  But typically Burberry ignored this tradition, and presented the trench the way the fashion world presented most everything…for our drooling admiration, our face pressed against etc. etc.

Burberry is wrestling with Plenitude and the fragmentation of taste in our culture.  There is no longer one single perfect Trench.  It is understands that if Burberry no longer controls the Trench, that it has to share authorship with the rest of us. Burberry has in other words discovered cocreation.  And not a moment too soon.  To live in the new world, brands are no longer missiles fired into the night air.  They are now what we make them on the ground, or they are nothing much at all.

But the website here goes a step further.  They accept photos from real people.  The photos are bad.  And the people are, well, really real.  Warts and all.  And for me at least this is a step too far.  I don’t actually want to see really real people.  It turns out, shame on me, that I still want my luxury brands (and the models who bring them to me) to have a certain exalted status.  I am happy to be forgiven the long climb up Mount Olympus, but I have now discovered that I don’t really want to make that trek all the way down into the really really world.

This is just a little too authentic for me.  (And for others, I’m guessing.  You tell me.)  But then I’m an ancient roue who insists that the world, my Paris, present itself as something stage worthy and perfectly crafted.  Otherwise what’s a Paris for?   Luxury brands deliver an exaltation.  This is one of the things they do for us.  No?

Post script:

This praise for Burberry is perhaps too tame.  Seconds after finishing this post, I read Cathy Horyn’s "Reflections on a Weird Year" in the New York Times.

I’m … completely fascinated by the potential for fashion companies to really use the Web and digital technology in much more interesting and purposeful ways than they so far have. I don’t mean Facebook and Twitter and 13-year-old bloggers (isn’t she 16 yet?), but rather rethinking a brand in terms of digital and making it as important a consideration as design and print advertising, which is still what most brand managers trust. Some companies plainly “get it” (look at hermes.com), but more brand chiefs need to inform themselves and make digital a top-down priority.

References

Anonymous.  2009.  Model Citizen.  Eminence Grise.  December 22.  here.

The Burberry Art of the Trench website here

Horyn, Cathy.  Reflections on a Weird Year.  New York Times.  December 23.  here.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Grace Peng.

Note: this post was lost due to Network Solutions incompetence in December of last year.  I am reposted it, today, December 24, 2010.

William Shakespeare: brand consultant

Shakespeare_1It’s not too late to add this perfect beach book to your summer reading list. 

I refer to Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World: How Shakespeare became Shakespeare.

This book is beautfully thought, said and constructed.  Perhaps more urgently, it is useful for people in the field of marketing. 

Here’s what Greenblatt has to say about theatre before and after Will.

The authors of the morality plays thought they could enhance the broad impact they sought to achieve by stripping their characters of all incdiental distinquishing traits to get to their essences.  They thought their audiences would thereby not be distracted by the irrelevant details of individual identities.

This sounds like the brand construction strategies of the 20th century, doesn’t it?  All brands, even the very best ones, were constructed as if the message could have no subtlety or nuance  Branding, even by very gifted marketers, had an inclination to strip everything out.  Keep it simple.  Stick to genre and formula.  Say it loud.  Say it often.  This was mantra of marketing. 

Those days have passed.  We are on the verge of brands that grasp what Shakespeare got:  brands generalizing in the old fashioned way are too obvious, too crude, too stupid to enter consciousness, let alone move someone to purchase (intellectual or otherwise).

Shakespeare grasped that the spectacle of human destiny was, in fact, vastly more compelling when it was attached not to generatlized abstractions but to particular name people, people realized with an unprecedented intensity of individuation; not Youth but Prince Hal, not Everyman but Othello.

It’s almost as if the brand can’t have a place in the present day marketplace unless it is worthy of a place in contemporary culture.  It can’t be commerce unless it’s culture. 

I think it’s fair to say that is one of the things that Will wrought.  I mean, there is pretty good chance we wouldn’t be looking at this challenge to the way we exercise our will in the world were it not for that Will in the world.

Hey, but what do I know?  I make my living standing in McDonald’s drive-through lines (see last post). 

References

Greenblatt, Stephen.  2004.  Will in the world: How Shakespeare became Shakespeare.  New York: Norton, p. 34.