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Medieval Marketing

Medieval Marketing

We’ve all seen movies where knights go into battle – shields raised, horses charging, and retainers following. The shields, the soldiers’ armor, the retainers’ tunics, the horses’ armor all bear the knight’s coat of arms. The purpose of the coat of arms is obvious and straightforward. You want to be able to identify friend and foe quickly and accurately.

This is called branding and identity.

There are very few modern women who have not, at some point, muttered about the sadist who thought up high-heeled shoes.  Ever wonder how the fashion started? They were “invented” in Renaissance Italy.  And yes, ladies, they were specifically designed to be dysfunctional.  A woman who wore high-heeled shoes was a living, wincing, embodiment of the fact that her husband was affluent enough to support a non-working wife.

This is called positioning.

The great Gothic cathedrals of Europe are major tourist attractions largely because of their stained glass windows.  Often taking years to create, they are exquisite illustrations of key biblical stories.  Each window was designed to illuminate and reinforce a particular point, a significant element that the Church wanted people to remember as they sat in awe as the light streamed through the glass and created an ever-changing visual experience.

This is called attention-getting communications.

Before there were MBA’s, before there were marketing guru’s, before there were marketing “models” and marketing jargon, there was a need to easily identify important people, organizations, and ideas and to quickly communicate their position and key messages to everyone else.

Things haven’t changed that much.

Given the chaos of today’s economic battlefield, companies need to be quickly and easily identifiable or they will get lost in the melee. Given the ever-increasing competitive crowd, companies need positioning that makes them stand out from across the room. Given today’s information overload, companies need communications that both attract the eye and stimulate the mind.

Things haven’t changed that much.

Let’s remember the lessons of medieval marketing.  Companies today are either the knights leading the battle or the serfs fervently hoping not to get trampled.

  • Consultant

Dr. Emily R. Coleman

President, Competitive Advantage Marketing, Inc.
Expert in Marketing Strategy & Tactics
Emily R. Coleman has more than 30 years of hands-on experience in virtually every aspect of marketing. She is known for her creativity and innovation. More important, she understands how to develop strategies and implementation tactics that benefit ...