The world has been celebrating the life of Steve Jobs. At the same time, a story popped up in Harvard Business Review that’s worth thinking about in the context of Mr. Jobs. It’s about the myth of innovation.
The point of the article is that we celebrate great innovators such as Jobs and Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton; all great discoverers, inventors and innovators. And, generally, we believe in that ah-hah moment of the innovator.
If you Google duct tape, you’ll discover that there are eleven million, seven-hundred-thousand results. For duct tape. An industrial product.
Duct Tape was made first by Johnson and Johnson in nineteen-forty-two. First use was to tape ammunition boxes during World War II because it was moisture-proof. GIs also used it to repair guns, Jeeps, airplanes, almost everything.
Rolls-Royce has hired its first advertising agency in America. The task for the agency is to create a new, younger image for the car that is a cliché for wealthy, old men with chauffeurs.
The company believes its appeal to well-heeled, older buyers remains strong, but Rolls-Royce wants to capture younger, affluent drivers as well. Word is that the agency is likely to utilize a lot of live, promotional events, as opposed to traditional media advertising.
It’s too simple to say some business executives perform better than others. Way too many factors determine a company’s success or failure than just the actions of the CEO. Especially companies that have been around for a long time.
I talk a lot about brand names. Because a great brand name makes everything easier.
We have great brand names in Memphis. FedEx, although the company originally didn’t want people saying FedEx, is a great brand. Federal gave the brand credibility in its earliest days. Auto Zone, though not the original name, is a strong brand. Better, I think, than the original, Auto Shack. LifeBlood’s a classic.
A great brand name you’ve probably never given a thought about is WKNO. Think about it. Public broadcasting in America has been a fact since the early Twentieth Century.