I lived in the time of Achilles…
Can we brand time? Say an epoch — can it be remembered by unique descriptions which reflect the prevailing myths, stories for posterity or for that matter those paradigm shifts which define the era?
Here are some interesting examples of the above:
From the Hollywood Film Troy — Odysseus: [voiceover] If they ever tell my story let them say that I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector, tamer of horses. Let them say I lived in the time of Achilles. (Emphasis mine)
Here is another one when a technology idea changed the game and it branded the era with its name. That apart it reflected the prevailing shifts it was causing and more importantly managed to establish the right kind of associations for the name. I call them branding burrs. The idea ended up owning the era and rewriting the rules related to music on the move…
On October 23, 2001, the then Apple CEO Steve Jobs walked on stage and debuted a device. Its name was the iPod.
“Music’s a part of everyone’s life,” he stated, “and because it’s a part of everyone’s life, it’s a very large target market all around the world. It knows no boundaries.”
I quote, Charlie Bertsch/Tikkun
‘Apple has done such a thorough job of colonizing consumers’ minds that many of them have now come to see that history in the company’s terms. What the iPod makes possible stands in for what portability itself makes possible. That is why it has made the leap from newcomer to icon with astonishing brevity and is now close to attaining the lexical status of “Xerox” and “Kleenex.”
I am sure you have heard ‘Digital Darwinism’ and the simpler ‘The Age of Social Media’ and many such descriptors of time and challenges.
The insight is simple.
We can brand time but we need to begin somewhere. With an idea, a thought, and or an immersion into a type of behavior or even think through our own concept. The caveat though, it should have the power to change the perception or even disrupt the established norm and flow of thought.
While Hector and Achilles did it for history and the joy of storytelling, Apple did it for technology.
Take that first step keeping in mind that branding is all about the right associations.
Time is no exception.