Page 23



with Ivory not only to keep them safe from germs and irritating chemicals, but also because Ivory just “seems right” for precious infants and toddlers. To comprehend the power of this phenomenon, we must understand the nature of symbols. Some symbols have the deepest religious or spiritual meaning. For example, within Christianity, Baptism is the ritual of purification, while Communion provides a ritual for the acceptance of divine grace. It would, of course, be sacrilegious to exploit any faith’s particular symbolism in order to sell products. Yet both sacred and secular symbols of renewal exist on a continuum unified by an archetype. While the conscious power of a religious symbol is inordinately greater, the unconscious power of an archetype, even in an entirely secular context, is immense. Meaning as a Brand Asset Understanding and leveraging archetypal meaning, once an interesting “bonus” to effective marketing, is now a prerequisite. Why? There was a time when successfully creating, building, and marketing brands required neither endless inspiration nor endless capital. Demand exceeded supply, and markets were uncluttered. In the main, products were physically different from each other, and brands were built on those differences. Such was the case, for ages and ages, in the marketing, or selling, world. But once competition reached a certain threshold, every business—whether a multinational cola company or a neighborhood dry cleaner—encountered a new challenge. No matter how effective the company’s manufacturing and distribution systems, or how state of the art its dry-cleaning processes, its competitors could imitate or duplicate them. In this circumstance, businesses found that they had only two broad strategic routes to go: reduce their prices or imbue their products with meaning. Clearly, the creation and management of meaning was the more desirable option. Ironically, though, as critical as meaning has become, no system has been developed until now for understanding or managing the meaning of brands—be they products, services, companies, or causes. We have had manufacturing systems for producing products, message development systems for creating candidates’ platforms, and business

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype