Out With the New, In With the Old

Wendy Gordon
Acacia Avenue

MARKETING AND THE INCA EMPIRE

At the heart of the once-mighty Inca Empire (1430-1530), the magnetic city of Cuzco draws hundreds and thousands to its cobbled streets, lured by the city's combination of colonial and religious splendours built on the hefty stone foundations of the Incas. In 1950 Cuzco suffered a devastating earthquake that destroyed almost all the buildings except those built on the ancient Inca foundations.

Lonely Planet Peru, 5th edition

This story has a parallel in the microscopic empire of marketing and research in the UK. In the decade roughly spanning the 1980s and early 1990s there was a renaissance in innovative thinking about the nature of brands (what they are, how to grow and develop them) and how advertising works. New thinking was fuelled by the growth of the advertising planning discipline, the power of major retailers, together with the threat to brands of increasing sales of own-label and the evidence that companies were willing to pay substantially over book value to acquire great brands.