Analog Brand Building — What if it was 1992?

This morning I found myself wondering, “What if it was 1992?”…

Could I give up streaming music services and visit a record store from time to time? Could I trade on-demand content like Netflix and Hulu for an antenna and local programming? Reluctantly, yes, I think I could do it. Could I forego my iPhone and strictly use a landline? No way.

Even if we could ditch a few 21st-century luxuries in the name of “slowing down” or saving money, most of us would justify our subscriptions. Chances are, the average digital music subscriber would be as warm to the idea of purchasing CDs as they would be reverting to a flip phone. If that’s the consensus on luxuries — what about the internet as a whole?

Unscientifically speaking, there is a 0.0001% chance of anyone (who wishes to remain a functioning member of society) eliminating the internet from their daily lives — travel, health, banking, identification, and social media. The “internet of things,” and the unceasing digitization of the world’s information, has led us to a place where you cannot be a participating member of society, let alone the economy, without being connected; without having a digital persona with which to interact with the rest of the connected world.

The result is that our “connected existence” has dramatically altered the way we share and absorb stories. On one side of the coin, small businesses have an infinitely larger soapbox from which to shout their message. On the other side of the coin is a sea of consumers with infinitely more options and dramatically shorter attention spans. The effect has been a gradual shift toward quick wins, misguided reliance on metrics, and the suffocation of originality. When your content’s success is measured against unrealistic viral expectations, how likely are you to be truly honest — to fully explore your creativity?

Social media is not the starting point of your story; it’s simply a platform to use. Your website is not your business; it’s a 24–7 customer service representative of your business. The stories you should be telling about your brand revolve around its purpose, place, people, and products or services. It does not revolve around ice bucket challenges, 280 character statements, or a stranger’s opinion on Yelp. Yes, such considerations may influence your business, but they do not decide it — you do.

Un-digitize your approach to brand-building stories.

In 2022, I challenge you to think like it’s 1992. Think about the stories you would tell separate from the technology, apps, and social networks available to tell them. By all means, use today’s technology to craft your statements and release them into the wild, but when you do remember, your smartphone, the internet, and Facebook aren’t the ones telling the story — you are.




Applying instinctual creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and elbow grease to make good stuff happen.

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Luke LaBree

Luke LaBree

Applying instinctual creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and elbow grease to make good stuff happen.

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