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Legacy in the Making

As we enter into June, our heads may be spinning from realizing that half of 2021 has approached and is gallivanting behind us. Time flies whether fun is had or not. Here today and gone tomorrow, so they say. June is a month filled with reflections on this concept. Several holidays and observances remind us of how quickly our history can feel like archives of a forgotten and distant past.

June recognizes the day Congress deemed American Indians as citizens. In addition, it's a month for celebrating the birth of the army, acknowledging the significance of the nation's flag, and even honoring the day of freedom of African Americans from slavery. June is rooted in remembering our yesterdays, and as time has swiftly raced to the present, we can't help but wonder what permanent markers have been engraved on civilization because of these events.

Can we articulate how much these historical moments influenced life as we know it? What tangibles do we grasp and behold today due to the impacts of the decisions made through these events? How do we trace our current quality of life to the holidays and reflections that June highlights? The enormous list we could create in answering these questions is the legacy generated through history. It's the repercussions and consequences rippling from one generation to the next. It's the cause and effect factor.

Would you, could you imagine that your brand can make the same kind of lasting impression? The positioning and stance of your organization's very existence can and should influence more than the bottom line but also the world in which it resides. What your company provides and gives out isn't for just a time but should alter time. Today's generation knows it. Yesterday's generation can not deny it, and tomorrow's generation will also be talking about it.

What your company provides and gives out isn't for just a time but should alter time.

When brands are able to intersect their heritage with the evolving pop culture of their society and the forever-changing needs of their audience, legacy is born. Though rooted in history, developing a brand legacy begins from inception. Organizations must answer from day one their core idea—why does the world need you, and how will your offering infinitely transform it for the better?

Consider your messaging from the start. There are deeply rooted human concepts that stand the test of time. For example, love, courage, smarts, success, or heroism are all ideals that are likely to never lose their savor and gravity in the eyes of the beholder. So how does your organization connect with timeless human notions, and which matters most to your audience? Answer this, and you've found your legacy's birthing place.

Take Nike's "Just Do It." This slogan is rooted in the shoemaker's existence. In all that the brand does, it strives to globally inspire, drive, and challenge every athlete (even those with a mini athlete within) to bring their A-game to life's courts and fields. Let's look at Coca-Cola. The soft drink producer wants to spread optimism and uplift through its product, hence its one-worded messages such as "Enjoy" and "Happiness." Apple dares us to step outside of the box and boldly take the rank of "innovator of the year" through its "Think Different" message.

Take another look at the examples. These brands are doing it all day, every day. They've determined their purpose and chiseled every inch of its meaning on our hearts. There is no separating what they do from why they do. For each of these brands' actions, there is a legendary reaction!

Whether big or small, your organization is leaving a footprint engraved in the DNA of its industry and market space. Don't allow that legacy to form by happenstance. What do you want to be known for? Once you have that figured out, bring it to us in ways that will matter beyond time and never leave the past behind.


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