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March 10, 2006



I am sorry but I have been researching human developement for twenty years and have been convinced that the "only" pre-requsit to achieving selfactualisation is for one to become diss-illusioned and finnanly give up, this has one of two consequences,
1) sucide of self or mass sucide which includes killing others along with your self.
2) or being able to not give a rat's xxx about what anyone has to say, think, or feel, whike still being able to keep ones responsibilities to one's self and or to one's dependents.

Kerrin Naude

As far as the "non-heirachy" is concerned, I can't say I'm such a fan of the round model, etc. Maslow's mdel is still perfectly relevant. It simply boils down to the fact that, in a post-scarcity society, many more people are "present" on these higher psychological levels. self-actualisation is important to the very many people capable of it.

How a brand offers this is up to them. As far as I can see, this is how Nike got where they are - by offering these higher levels way back when no-one else did it. The academics weren't even in place yet. People simply recognised a clever payoff line and liked it. For me they started it and were smart enough to maintain that vibe.


Jennifer, great article on branding. I was wondering what your thoughts are on why great brands are associated with very few countries while countries like India, inspite of having a thriving economy, are not able to produce a good brand.

Morriss Partee

Hi, Douglas,

Companies who think they can control their brand are fooling themselves. I believe brand is the intersection between a company and its customers. Therefore, the true brand is not something controlled by a finely honed branding machinery, but rather a feedback, dialog, conversation between a company and its customers. So in that regard, anything which furthers and fosters that conversation is a boon. Companies which are not prepared to engage in that conversation in real-time, or near real-time, will suffer. Those that embrace the conversation and foster community with its constituents will flourish. To me, it's wonderful that blogs and web 2.0 are the new manifestations of the Cluetrain Manifesto set out in 1999.

So what corporations need to do is to set the parameters of their brands, and infuse the core values throughout the organization. And then allow each employee to interpret the brand in his/her own terms so that the live conversation can take place in an on-brand way. Of course this starts with the hiring practices and ensuring that all new employees are selected based on how well his/her own personality and abilities are going to fit and further the company's brand.

Douglass Turner


Could you please say a bit about brand articulation in the modern era of realtime brand experience via weblogs, RSS, etc.

Today, we have unscripted, live reinterpretation of brands happening all across the Web. Doesn't this through a rather large monkey wrench into the finely honed branding machinery of the modern corporation?



Wow. This conversation has been very insightful. Keep up the great content. My two favorites: Self Actualization and Aesthetic.

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