Hope and Change
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited for this saying, “Change is the only constant in life”. As a father of four, change is all I ever have left in my pocket. You don’t need have an MBA or a PHD to understand the impact of change. President Obama showed marketing excellence with his slogan, “Hope and Change.”
We all, universally, and beyond party lines, want hope, and since we all tend to focus on the negative and get stuck in that bad place, want change, and most of the time we sincerely believe that change is for the better.
Some would argue that change isn’t good, we should do things as we have done all along. Within a mile of our house is Conner Prairie. Conner Prairie is a magnificently made re-creation of old Indiana times with a restored village, covered bridges, and period acting. While it’s a wonderful reminder of simpler times before cyber bullying, sexting, Amazon Prime, Fortnite, and online everything, it is also a reminder of times without refrigeration, running water, a hot bath, in a setting of long cold winters, and steamy hot summers.
I’d bet my right arm that the settlers at Conner Prairie complained about change when their children insisted that their parents buy or make them baseball gloves. I can hear James Conner in my mind saying …. “Kids these days get everything. We used to share a bed with three siblings and what is wrong with a corn stalk mattress? I used to catch a ball with my bare hands.” This week we had sub-zero temperatures in Indianapolis, so I’ll take modern times and change.
Conner Prairie, historic in its preservation and reenactments, is wise enough to also embrace change and modern interests. Every weekend in the summer, Conner Prairie hosts “Symphony on the Prairie” to crowds that can be in excess of 10,000 people. Finding a way to embrace traditional culture and modern experiences isn’t an easy task, but from a marketing approach, it’s brilliant.
We could all learn a lesson from Conner Prairie. The astuteness of using the past to draw the present is marketing genius. Over 21,000 people rode the 1859 era tethered hot air balloon this past year earning the non-profit over $200,000 in revenue. The balloon ride, one of only five like it in the U.S., which lifts passengers 377 feet off the ground, is a tribute to the first air mail delivery to have ever taken place when John Wise attempted delivery of 123 letters and 25 circulars from Lafayette, IN to Crawfordsville, IN some 25 miles away.
Some modern advancements that Conner Prairie has embraced are specialty parking areas with a tractor ride to the front gate, a nice mix of old and new. You can book an incredible dinner in the James Conner house where you help cook a meal period time, certainly influenced by HGTV and the Food Channel.
We love nostalgia. Using the term LEGACY in business is a creative blend of old (proven) and new (cutting edge). To have a legacy product today, it means that you are:
A. Still in business and have credibility
B. Have a first-generation proven technology that functions today
C. Now have a new changed and improved product
The term legacy gives confidence to a potential client, gives hope that their purchase will be supported, and suggests that this purchase is low to no risk.
The word legacy has rich history dating back to the 15th century. Its depth of meaning includes that of Ambassador, delivering value and hope with integrity.
Legacy is also a term for a Gift of Great Value. On the professional level and in business, a legacy product or method is: One That Stands Tall Against the Test of Time. One that competes against new technologies and perhaps even laughs or scoffs at its competitors.
Bell bottoms, holes in your jeans, yoga pants, skinny jeans, the list goes on. Those aren’t legacy products, those are trends that repeat themselves. Truth, integrity, value, sustainability, honor, relationships, caring for others, those are legacy issues and methods we must instill in our businesses and personal lives today.