Many brands still see their archives as we all do the 10,000 photos on our phones: a visual sinkhole that we must sort out one day. But what brands need to realise now is that their archives and brand stories are the life blood of their brand. Archives hold both the memory and the future of any brand, ignored, and unused at their peril. In exploring their histories and stories, brands are arming themselves with both practical and powerful creative tools that in a world of comparable claims are unique, valuable and authentic.
Archives for Growth
In a world focused on reducing waste and recycling, an increasing number of brands from sectors as varied as banking and fashion are turning to their archives and histories for future growth. Viktor and Rolf’s statement-making Spring Summer collection reflected the mood of a new generation who want to see a focus on renewal and preservation. Consumers want to understand their brands better, rather than being presented with a new concept every quarter or in each new campaign. Not only do digitised archives have direct commercial value in and of themselves, but when carefully explored and curated, they can provide brands with a goldmine of relevant and powerful stories and ideas to engage their clients and drive them forwards.
Archives for Differentiation
Every company has its own DNA with its individual story of growth, company culture, reputation, products and people. As Christine McCafferty, archive manager at Diageo, recently suggested, ‘Having these materials digitised has definitely allowed us to respond to requests from M&I more effectively. We are more aware of the rich content that we have to support brand projects and we can supply the materials easily, now they have been digitised.’
In the churn of marketing departments it is this history than is often lost or overlooked. The Brand Archivists offer a unique service to explore and unearth what has actually made and built your brand – through an exploration of the past, from product development to employee histories – which can create the kind of loyalty and pride that in tough markets leverages a real competitive advantage.
Archives for Preservation
An archive is the memory of the business – holding knowledge and evidence of commercial activities, forgotten when people move on. Archives can provide evidence against hostile litigation, trademark infringement, or assault on reputation. More routinely, they provide an unparalleled source of management information.
Exposure to the corporate memory shows today’s employees, from boardroom to shop-floor, that your company has already weathered political and economic uncertainties, technological and organisational change, growth and recession. Whatever your business, whatever your sector, by exploring your archives you capture today’s experience, knowledge and culture for tomorrow’s management team. Archive is a powerful tool, and it’s brand-generated, so don’t throw it away.