Today I’ve been following a number of presentations at the Reputation Institute conference in Oslo. The big theme here is innovation and reputation and how they link. But one of the big topics appearing again and again is the need for – and understanding of – authenticity in corporations. This morning Davide Ravasi from Università Bocconi and Annika Hökerberg from Absolut Spirits (ABSOLUTE VODKA) did a great presentation about the heritage and innovation.
Davide was talking about corporate (brand) museums which I think he is (one of) the leading experts of. Great italian companies like Ducati, Piaggio and Alessi all have corporate museums that link the heritage of the company with the design and managerial visions of the present and future. Annika spoke of Absolut in Åhus and how the soul of the company is present in everything they do. One of the interesting things about Absolut is the rare combination of a strong and visible heritage and a very creative and innovative brand. Most companies are good at conveying one of these two, their history OR their ability to innovate. But Absolut has a unique performance on both dimensions which I find quite interesting.
The buzz seems to be on authenticity. A phenomenon which I’m trying to master and spend quite some time understanding. This summer I’ll spend a full month (from the beginning of july to the beginning of august) further developing the book that I’m writing which will be published in early 2008. Everyone that I’ve met here is very interested in knowing more about the concept and what I’m working on which is very motivating and makes me think that I really have to stick with the plan of writing (even though there are so many other things to do!). The other day I heard that a number of students at Communication studies at RUC was using my authenticity-model to understand and analyze corporate brands which is so great!
So… Look forward to reading lots more! And if you want to hear more now you’re more than welcome to listen in on one of my lectures at RUC.
Nanna, Kristian and Sandra at a presentation, Majken Schultz and Nicholas Ind, Dominik Heil talking about organizational identity