Friday, July 13, 2012

How to live forever

100 years ago tomorrow Woody Guthrie was born in Okemah, Oklahoma.

He wasn't the greatest singer. He wasn't the greatest guitar player. But Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, Jeff Tweedy, Johnny Cash and just about anyone who's ever strummed a guitar look up to him because he had something most people (and brands) don't: a point of view.

In describing his approach to his craft Woody said:

A folk song is:
what's wrong and how to fix it 
who's hungry and where their mouth is 
who's out of work and where the job is
who's broke and where the money is
who's carrying a gun and where the peace is.

This point of view informed his writing, his travels, his life. It defined him not just in his time, but for all time.

Great brands are like Woody.

They define their purpose in clear, simple, direct, plain language.

Doing this won't guarantee your brand will be around 100 years from now. But not doing it will almost surely guarantee it won't.

Happy birthday, Woody.


  1. Great post, Harvey. Couldn't have said it better.

    1. Thanks Nathaniel. Much appreciated. Probably time for us to catch up. I'll contact you soon.