Lessons from history on building a long term brand.

By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar

The other day Luke and I were discussing his recent trip to Holland to visit his daughter who was there on a University exchange.

After visiting the many museums Luke hit upon a thesis: that the famous people we hear about in history are famous not just because there were incredible people, but very possibly because they were marketed.

Case in point: Anne Frank. Not to diminish the power of her story and her impact on the public’s cry of “never again” but surely there were many children who hid from the Nazis, capturing their experience in one format or another. It was Anne Frank’s father, Otto, who took her diary and literally shopped it around. He got a publishing deal then oversaw its transition to the stage and screen.

Van Gogh is another example. It was his brother Theo, an art dealer, who supported Vincent so that he could maintain his artist lifestyle, supporting him financially and encouraging him emotionally. Theo effectively became his brother’s agent with the result that Vincent’s works are now hanging in museums.

What history has shown through these and many examples is that what we understand and appreciate now didn’t just naturally unfold. Rather it was perpetuated by marketing; by the tenacity and passion of a sponsor who believed in the person or thing they were marketing.

Sound familiar dear brand marketers? Yet another lesson from history we can use to our advantage. I bet Joan of Arc had a pretty good agent herself…