Why brands need to respect their heritage

My partners and I once met with a client who blew us away with a succinct and powerful articulation of their design philosophy: 'There is only one period which is authentic, and that is now – everything else is just pastiche'.

The clarity of this position gave us everything we needed, a one-sentence-brief, but it also caused us to shift a little uncomfortably in our chairs. We were in the middle of a separate project and process of reinstating Co-op's identity from 1968 and the word 'pastiche' stung us into thinking hard. Were we doing the right thing? And what does 'authenticity' really mean in relation to brand and identity? 

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Stephen is a partner at North.