Weinruch, who founded the The History Factory in 1979, has based his company around the idea of heritage management. He describes this philosophy as “the discipline that leverages and organizes its inventory of experience — its stories, its icons, its lessons learned — so that they can use those to address either the challenges or opportunities of growth.”
The manifesto hones in on practical techniques that can be applied in the workplace on both micro and macro levels to increase consumer visibility and connect initiatives to a larger audience. With countless examples of industry successes, Weindruch uses these real-life cases while tracing how to use a company’s history to create a specific narrative to draw in the consumer. Readers might want to take note: with a large section of the country experiencing an economic downturn and the volatility of new media platforms, Weindruch’s suggestions offer solutions to cash strapped industries.
Weindruch highlights something that, while approaching common knowledge with its simplicity, could be a critical aspect of humanizing companies that can often be considered faceless.
“Heritage is a resource an organization already owns and its abundant — they don’t have to buy it, they don’t have to go out and get it, its already there.” And he isn’t wrong: while the idea of adding more humanistic traits to businesses as a way of gaining consumer sympathy isn’t exactly breaking news, he notes the advantage of using a company’s individual narrative and history to differentiate them from their peers. It highlights them as a unique entity with a visible identity and encourages brand loyalty. With the constant flux of new content and rapid business with new media expansion, this approach can lead to a competitive edge that, if successful, can help attain brand recognition in a sympathetic light.
Weindruch’s laymen style explanation of how to put this ideal into practice allows his words to be applicable to multiple industries at multiple levels. His advice is timely, honing in on the sort of cultural backlash that has been occurring in response to the unprecedented surge of consumer approaches through new media.
At the end of the day, elements of humanity and connections to them has been proven to sustain connection to the consumer, and it is this approach over others that Weindruch encourages in ‘Start with the Future and Work Back: A Heritage Management Manifesto.”
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Caitlin Philippo is an Editorial Assistant at O’Dwyer’s.