I spend a significant amount of time in the Northwest where Totem Poles are a common sight. When I was walking around West Seattle today, I stopped and looked at one that is at the Admiral Viewpoint and overlooks Elliott Bay and Downtown Seattle.
The purpose of totem poles (or in this case, story poles) are to document key people and events that had a significant impact on that settlement or region.
Alot of marketers do a poor job of creating their own version of totem poles. Most of the time marketers are busy looking at the present or future to stop and think about the people that will come after them. How many times have you stepped into a new job to find out that’s it your job to piece together the facts and learn about the history of your brand(s).
The past is important. And I’m not talking about conducting a business review of the last 12 months or quantitative research to understand how A&U has changed over the last couple of years. The past is everything from the founder of your brand to the people who played a role in building it to sales results, to advertising archives, media coverage and anything else that has shaped the brand.
Everyone is busy, but I challenge you to take a couple hours a month to build your brand’s story pole. The people who follow you will appreciate it.