Thursday, 19 July 2012
“It pays to advertise. Remember there are a lot of peaks in Colorado higher than Pike's Peak--but try to name them.” (Unknown)
I want to explain why I find this quote problematic. Pike’s Peak is notable due to it’s rich history and its’ location near Denver and Colorado Springs. Nobody decided 200 years ago that they were going to advertise it into prominence. There’s pink granite, a gold-rush, and the Pike’s Peak Hill-climb race. It’s said that her view from the 14,000ft summit inspired Katherine Lee Bates in 1896 to write the song America the Beautiful.
Now, as far as modern day commercial advertising and merchandising goes, there are T-shirts, post-cards, Hill-climb race posters, gold coins and all manor of souvenir merchandise available branded “Pike’s Peak.” The Colorado Convention and Visitor’s Bureau promotes visits to Colorado and feature Pike’s Peak among the attractions. Because of its’ storied past and popularity there is a fully paved road that ascends to the top as well as the Pike’s Peak Railway. Marketing is being done by newcomers to Pike’s Peak and they’re taking advantage of the Pike’s Peak brand to build their businesses.
Are we not sitting on a goldmine ourselves because we sell diamonds? We didn’t tell Archduke Maximilion to have a diamond set into a ring in order to propose marriage. We didn’t discover the curious octahedral stone on a beach in South Africa that sparked the African diamond rush. None of us I know wrote the phrase “A diamond is forever.” We didn’t advertise diamonds into popularity. We just get to tell the story and reap the rewards. We can use advertising, social media, press releases, advertorials, speaking engagements, posters, fliers or any other elements of marketing. But, it remains our privilege to promote something that is monumental in its’ recognition.
Out of all the brands who are seeking to advertise themselves into prominence, none of them will ever supersede the brand that diamonds have achieved.