Keeping a brand young

Admit it - you don't know anything; and that's a wonderful thing.

'Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.' - Henry Ford

People who are of an advanced age, get old quickly when they stop learning new things.

When they stop being curious, taking risks, pushing themselves purposefully out of their comfort zone their age suddenly catches up with them - and frailty takes over.

The same basic principle applies to brands and businesses.

When a brand stops exploring, chooses to rest on its laurels, takes its foot off the learning peddle it gets old and stale and irrelevant very quickly.

The danger signs leading into this situation are known to most all too well.

Brands heading into the dreaded old-age zone are resistant to change, they fear the unknown, they're run by people who's worldview is dominated by 'best practice' and recognised rules applicable in disciplines like accounting, management science and law.

Innovation is seen as an expense, marketing a line item on a P&L statement that needs to be 'brought under control'. Nothing is initiated without a guarantee of measurable return.

If these boxes can be ticked, old age is on its way.

The antidote to old-age and key to longevity is new learning, a culture of curiosity a commitment to exploring what's on the other side of now.

This all starts with the humble admittance that you as an organisation are ignorant and actually don't know anything.

Once you own that - the journey to youthfulness can begin.