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PRIMAL ASSETS

than it devours in resources. Until then, it does not create wealth, it destroys it.” The Young & Rubicam analysis explored changes in EVA and MVA from 1993 to 1999 for a set of 50 well-known and highly regarded brands, such as American Express, American Greetings, Fruit of the Loom, Disney, Kodak, Sears, Heinz, Harley-Davidson, and The Gap. The relationship of changes in these fundamental financial indicators was profiled among two sets of brands: those with “tightly defined” archetypal identities, whose closest secondary relationship was 10% or more below the first, and a “confused” set of brands, whose secondary archetype was within this 10% boundary. Each set consisted of an equal number of brands. The analysis showed that the MVA of those brands strongly aligned with a single archetype rose by 97% more than the MVA of confused brands. Also, over the six-year period under study, the EVA of strongly aligned brands grew at a rate 66% greater than that of the EVA of weakly aligned brands. Of course, being believers, the researchers were enormously gratified (though not surprised) by the results. But the implication of these findings was quite impressive: Identities that succeed at striking an essential human chord affect the most fundamental economic measures of success. And what may be even more startling is what the data reveal about the importance of a single coherent archetype in successfully determining identity and influencing performance. Archetypes defy the “pick some characteristics from column A and some from column B” practice of creating brand identity; rather, these ancient psychic imprints are whole and complete concepts, demanding to be fully realized and deployed. We now know that brands that consistently express an appropriate archetype drive profitability and success in real and sustainable ways. And in a very positive chain of causality, they can do this at no cost to the consumer or the culture. Indeed, such brands address deep and abiding human needs. The Young & Rubicam study demonstrates, without a doubt, the importance to marketing of understanding and maintaining an archetypal identity as a primary business asset.

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

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