Lessons from the 2012 Olympics on what parts of your brand you should keep vs. let go.

By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar

A week later and I think we’ve all gotten over our Olympic hangover. And what great games they were! So many positive stories of bravery, inspiration and awe: Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Oscar Pistorius, Canadian women’s soccer team, Sarah Attar to name a few.

Then there are the stories that just make you chuckle: the pot-eating Judo competitor, Badmintongate, NBC tape delays, our team sporting the Canadian Tuxedo at the closing ceremonies (way to perpetuate the stereotype people).

At the end of the day London should be very proud. Um, except for the closing ceremonies. Let me go there for a second. Once it was over I was all what the hell just happened ya’ll?! Yes, what a party it was. But at the same time it was a mash up of everything British aimed at pleasing about 100 different viewer groups. The concept of showing the modern vision of England, was great. And I get that each country needs to showcase what it’s all about, what it’s best known for around the world. But combining the modern images with tired clichés amounts to brain strain. I love this quote from The Telegraph “If Cliff Richard were to have dropped by on a double decker bus, dressed in tweed and eating a cream tea we would have known that the exciting glimpse of a new kind of Britishness we’d had this month was really over.” They were but a half step away from that spectacle! So the lesson for brands: definitely celebrate what you’re best known for. But know what to let go. Here’s our list of what we think London should have kept and dumped from the ceremonies:

Keep: the world still loves this!

The Queen (only because she proved she can laugh at herself!)
60s fashion
The awesome music England has given the world. See below for caveat
Monty Python

Dump: the rest of the world has moved on, you need to too
Winston Churchill
The War
Big Ben
Ray Davies
Beady Eye

What’s your brand’s keep vs. dump list?