The most interesting point of this book, is that strategy cannever be something abstract and platonic. It needs to work with and make use of the culture and the society it lives in. The usual collection of abstract words isn’t a strategic decision. The most important strategic decision is, which role can such a brand play in society. Thus he takes strategy out of the realm of being useless and simply on paper into an area where it is useful. “From Abstract Associations to Cultural Expressions.” (Holt, 2004, p.36).
“the brand’s value resides in the specifics of the brand’s expression.” (Holt, 2004, p.36). “Managers cleanse their strategies to rid the brand of the messiness of society and history in search of its purified essence.” (Holt, 2004, p.37). They “deny the brand a role as a historical actor in society.” (Holt, 2004, p.37). ... and thus relevance.
“cultural icons dominate our world.” (Holt, 2004, p.1). “Icons serve as society’s foundational compass points – anchors of meaning.
“Identity myths are usually set in populist worlds: places are separated not only from everyday life but also from the realms of commerce and elite control. The people living in populist worlds share a distinctive ethos that provides intrinsic motivation for their action. (…) they do so because they want to, not because they are being paid.” (Holt, 2004, p.9).
“Iconic brands address acute contradictions in society.” (Holt, 2004, p.7). “identity myth: a simple story that resolves cultural contradictions.” (Holt, 2004, p.11).
“The brand is a historical entity whose desirablility comes from myths that address the most important social tensions of the nation.” (Holt, 2004, p.38).
“An iconic brand can’t behave like a cultural parasite (…). These brands must engage new popular culture as it unfolds. The key to success is for the brand team to carefully select new culture that can be credibly brought into the brand’s milieu, and then give these artifacts a new spin, inflecting them with the brand’s point of view.” (Holt, 2004, p.200). “Iconic brands are built by cultural activists, Yet, while many companies would love to create a Nike, a Budweiser, or a Mountain Dew, most are organized to act as cultural reactionaries.” (Holt, 2004, p.209).