Do you have a few minutes to discuss this while
I am in Paris on Monday or Tuesday. I am quite happy to dilute my role in the narrative, but the flow not so much.
Since 1991 I have come to know of at
least 20 global marketers who are really pissed off (excuse my Anglais) with the direction that got spun round the valuation
of branding and marketing.. Thanks to HEC's almost miraculous renewal of French belief in "entrepreneur:"
and digital youth's best friends in Bangladesh, there is a window of opportunity to change global media and metrics for
the better for 7 billion beings. Or at the very least an urgent worldwide debate is now vaut le voyage.
Chris Macrae washington dc 301
www.normanmacrae.com www.microeconomist.tv www.ERworld.tv
A SHORT FUTURE HISTORY OF BRANDING & SUSTAINABILITY
Through, 1976-1988 the world’s largest database of
market models examining customer and social needs for international brands was developed. The main resource was collected
by two partnering companies- one founded by MIT professors and the other headquartered out of Paris . The professors had created
“express’ the first and best database language, and focused
its initial applications on market modelling
What Market Models and Databases Made Knowable About Brands by 1988
Classical one product branding
was about to die- as companies went global it was absurd for those such as Unilever to have 5000 different entry-level brand
managers each with a different brand within country and by separate product. It was time to make a bonfire of dismal advertising
age mantras like Trout and Ries’ Positioning – The Battle for Your Mind. This book argued that branding be operated
as all image and no reality- all noisy promise no brand valuation of trust.
In late 1988, I wrote a book World Class Brands questioning
what would happen next? I also encouraged parallel conversation’s- eg Today’s editor of The Economist wrote The
Year of the Brand. Due to publishing delay the book didn’t come out to early 1991 but this gave me a chance to write
an appendix which was about how to cull brands from 5000 to a handful that leaders could work with strategically. This culling
was to be facilitated through linking and marrying brands using the many identifiers that each brand’s deep recall came
with. What emerged was a practice field I named brand architecture with Gary Hamel’s permission. In
1993, his book “Competing For the Future” with CK Prahalad talked a lot about strategic architecture. It seemed
sensible to encourage boardrooms to see that designing strategy and brand and leadership are inseparably valuable.
Through the next few years, other than
my next book that which helped to form the genre of living and learning the brand, books that interested me in terms of questioning
revolution in branding were in Europe Kapferer’s and in USA the book co-authored by Joachimsthaler and Aaker. There
were some other deep books on cultural meanings like that of anthropologist McCracken and interesting work on typologies of
brands in Netherlands , and doubtless stuff in languages beyond my knowledge.
Within the 10 year period 1998-1998 the practice of branding
had changed completely, but the brand valuation algorithms which had been “invented” to suit global accountants
around 1988 had not. Ironically around 1994, I was working in the consultancy arm of a Big 5 accountant which concocted a
few interviews to make the PR headline: marketing is living a lie in my
organisation. Actually global accounting was already losing its Hippocratic oath faster than marketing. So, it turns
out if measurement professions are still stuck in the past - or sponsored
by speculators - then an organization can’t design branding to realise win-win-wins for owners, customers and societies
– however much the 2 latter groups are marketing’s true responsibility economically and socially. Before
the tv age took over, have another look at the system definition of marketing and innovation that Peter Drucker offered in
The Practice of Management. Or ask yourself bite for bite has man and computing ever again made such productive teamworking
use of each other as the 1960s race to the moon.
By 1998, the new practice of branding in a world becoming dominated by global markets became remarkably
finalised for something that hardly existed a decade earlier. For sure, I understand the internet was just about to mix branding
in a revolutionary way but I will leave that to a footnote. What I want to turn to is a very nasty threat to human sustainability
caused by this race by professions to be the semi-monopolies of globalization – a race they found sponsorship for in
the world’s biggest organisations. This spins exactly opposite dynamics of the assumptions of Adam Smith Free markets
or the origin in economics of France ’s definition of the word entreprenur
System designers may note that communications are about connections, as are accurate flow models of goodwill, transparency
and whether a company's unique purpose is being exponentially sustained or shredded. To map the integration of purposeful
organisational leadership as a system of productive and demanding relationships – mathematicians would expect the impact
metric governing all others at every audit cycle to be one that informs whether the value multiplication being compounded
is exponentially up or down. Moreover because most of the relationship quality is Bayesian (already invested in the system)
the future exponential being tracked is largely knowable ahead of time, and so proactively governable. Moreover, it turns
out that in markets where "people" deliver services or multiply knowledge that this goodwill measure corresponds
to the vast majority of whole value which stock markets aim to represent. Classical accounting is busy adding up a separate things dataset whose overall
proportion of the market value of the company is small, though it does result in one psychologically critical measure cashflow.
Surprisingly, or may be not for historians
of whole truth (eg Gandhians) – none of the biggest clients of global professions as we enter the 2010s have access
to this exponential maths. It is quite simple stuff provided you accept that multiplication deserves to be a different operand
than add. I started testing value multiplier models in 1998 when I was asked by one of the world’s largest ad agencies
to model the future value of Andersen as it split from what is now known as Accenture. I was shown interviews of Andersen’s
top 100 leaders. It didn’t take a lot of analysis for a systems modeler to conclude "
Chicago we have a problem" There are so many conflicts – even misunderstandings of what different functional groups
are assuming – that unless they fix it the compound future value of this firm will be zero. This
will arise because successive failures to deliver true and fair accounting will reduce society’s value of Andersen to
zero and even as the value of global client relationship goes up into multiple billions, value multiplying results quite simply
produces billions *0 =0, not the
billions+0 =billions that global accountants’ bottom line assumptions spreadsheet. Note too that for those interested
in sustainability double, triple or multiple bottom line accounting isn’t any more responsible if the additive assumption
is still ruling.
Today in 2010
World Class Brands as a system design intervention needs to make an urgent comeback if future human
sustainability is to be assured by all of us parents, workers and internetworking peoples responsible for the 2010s . Viewing
the global financial system crisis as an opportunity, Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus has put himself up for the task of
assembling 100 of the biggest brand ceos around him and asking them to all free their global markets for sustainability at
the same time. Get hold of his forthcoming book – Building Social Business - to decide if you want to join in this leadership party.
Dr Yunus says the 2010s is the most exiting decade
ever. We’d agree You and Us not only need sustainability's exponential maths to celebrate this. Having benchmarked sustainability
leadership, the tool can be offered professionally by humanitarian friends of Yunus and alumni of his launch of Global Grameen
as the world’s favourite global brand partner in sustainability. Why not credit Bangladesh for having done the most
to invent sustainability’s system designs? Why not empower youth and job creating entrepreneurs who want to see a win-win-win
globalization blossom designed around microeconomics depth and open
interfacing - the way that nature's own evolutionary accounting is compounded.
. The only way humanity is going to move beyond recurring
multi-trillion dollar bailouts to sustainability (and above zero sum lifestyles for all our children’s futures) is if
whole truth leadership is exponentially valued. The bad and good news is that every solution to a crisis of lost sustainability
at a community level begins and ends with reconciliation of this maths error. Yes We Can be just-n-time to return sustainability
to future generations but only if exponential maths is used to govern the world’s largest organisations, and that will
require the mother of benchmarking movements that probably only someone famous for as much goodwill as Dr Yunus can mediate.
It will also require the world’s largest public broadcasters admitting to the non-systemic nightly news coverage of
globalisation that they have been propagating. For a dramatic antidote, ask everyone you network with to watch the
extraordinary film “8” produced by www.notimeleft.org
So why didn’t the internet impact
brand reality much? Well obviously it changes the mix choices but it hasn’t done much if anything yet to change system
misunderstandings. In fact, the collapse of dotcoms went almost unnoticed as something value multiplication predicts. When
your brand is webbed into a network of brands its value is wholly at risk to the weakest link. Dismally this also means that
the unique purpose of the www as intended by Berners-Lee is now exponentially destructing in spam and other noise.
In most global aspects, people are being
conditioned by the internet in the same sort of way that they are by the mass media. Audience numbers of what gets popularity
on the net show this, interfaces people use to browse indicate a decline in brain attention, failure of most of our net generation’s
most highly paid MBAs to be getting smarter is spotting system bubbles like Wall Street’s demonstrates this. The first
decade of millennium 3 would be farcical if it wasn’t tragic – the president of superpower rushing into war over
a non-existent threat, the terrible fact that after tens of billions
of global funding the mosquito remains smarter at networking on the ground than the human ...
When you look at the deep micro analysis which
database software enabled in the 1980s, and see how little of that type of analysis people use the internet for, it would
take a very dreamy person to believe that the internet by itself will transform us back to sustainability trajectories.
Sustainability can only return by ending
the world’s greatest maths mistake. Exponential maths needs to be the 5rh R in every kind of school –social, business,
5th grade, 50th grade,
all 4 hemispheres. Value multiplying maths is a solution waiting to
be clicked all over the world - appropriate for modeling way above zero-sum. Collaboration partnering can be the new innovation
advantage– but only if you will help empower people around the world to get out of lurking as the last call to select
sustainability’s way ahead is mediated in the next few years.
1976 Entrepreneurial Revolution, The Economist, 25 December
2010 Building Social Business, Nobel Laureate Dr Yunus
How soon will social business have an impact on society?
You don't have to
change the whole society. If your social business works with only five people, you have invented a seed! Now you can plant
it a million times. Grameen Bank got started in a single village with just $27 in loans. Now microcredit is a worldwide movement
that helps millions. Social business is beginning the same journey.
The world faces many overwhelming problems,
from the environment to infectious diseases to economic collapse. Don't you find this disacouraging?
This is the luckiest
generation in history, because we have thousands of opportunities to make the world a better place. If all the problems had
already been solved, we'd be saying, "What am I going to do with my life?" Instead, we can choose from almost unlimited
Where do ideas for social businesses come from?
Technology creates incredible opportunities.
Look at the iPhone with its beautiful touch screen. Someone could use this same technology to solve the problem of illiteracy.
By touching the icons, an illiterate woman in Bangladesh—or the United States—could learn words, hear stories,
play games, and teach herself to read and write. All that's required is for someone to see the potential.
When leading corporations
like Danone, Veolia, BASF, and Intel work with you to develop social businesses, how do you assess their motives?
people wonder whether corporations like these are "using" me to enhance their reputations. Actually, I think I am
using them. They give the idea of social business immediate legitimacy. Now business people around the world are developing
their own ideas for social businesses. So I would say to anyone who wants to support this important cause: Use me, please!