Are You Hiding?

The brochure of the exhibit

Last Saturday I checked out an exhibit called “Hide, Skin as Material and Metaphor.” at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York. While I cant’ say I liked the work visually, it certainly struck me as interesting on a number of levels.

It really got me thinking about skin… and really what the skin of our companies are.

Brands are definitely a skin. And they often are something companies hide behind—a manufactured image beamed over TV or ads that can bear little connection to the reality.

Social/digital/community media is changing this.

When people become the carriers of the brand in a very active way (employees, customers, partners) the skin of the company changes a lot.

For people in charge of branding, that’s a wonderful or scary thing. Or both.

BTW, the museum is in a really cool building.. the customs house at the foot of Broadway, almost at the lower tip of Manhattan. According to a plaque outside, customs duties were the main source of US revenue before the income tax was instituted. And most customs duties came through that building.

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