By Dark Angels

Lessons from some of the world's oldest companies

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Got the t-shirt?

Mike Gogan, author of the chapter about Guinness, established 1759.


I’ve noticed a lot of established dates recently.  Mainly the ones emblazoned on t-shirts where brands use chest space indiscriminately to tell us how long they’ve been around.  The broad bellied, the flat chested, the small, the large.  Brands aren’t fussy about the colour, shape or size of the medium so long as their message gets a free ride on our bodies.

Clothing brands and whiskeys are popular as are the 1960s, anything younger just not having the same cache it seems.  In many cases, mine anyway, the wearer was established earlier than the brand.

I see for example one trendy clothing company declaring that it was established in 1892. I’ve no doubt it was, but I wonder was it really making anything measuring today’s trendy teenagers’ gear   way back then?

What does it do to declare a long-ago date?  Does older mean better? Does it make the brand more attractive?  In my opinion for a brand to have some real credibility in the ‘established since’ claim, it needs a direct line from what it did then to what it does now.  Call it consistency, longevity, a proposition as solid when it started as it presents today.

The brands in Established, lesson from some of the world’s oldest companies, by Dark Angels, all have core propositions running the length of their history.  They each have a rather simple purpose that perhaps is the very secret of how they have managed to last so long.

But to find out who they are and how they do it, you’ll have to pledge to read the book.

You’ll read about the ups and downs of fortunes, the challenges, the different makes, the lucky breaks.  For generations, sometimes centuries, these companies have been brewing, pouring, moving, chopping, carving, rowing, founding, printing, cellaring, weighing, farming and even chewing their way into the lives of customers all over the world.   

These brands have hearts beating real history inside their chests, not faking it cotton print on the outside.

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