HMS16: “Your history, the content of your fututure”

Anders Sjöman, head of communication at the Centre for Business History in Stockholm opened the History Marketing Summit 2016 with a introduction to the concept of history marketing and how a company’s history can become its content for future stories.

Watch Anders’s presentation above (subtitled in English). Or read the summary below.

“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire,” said the composer Gustav Mahler. Anders Sjöman, head of communication at the Centre for Business History in Stockholm, quoted not just Mahler, but several other historical figures, to emphasize who we all depend on the knowledge and histories of those that went before us.

Historical narratives can, when preoperly used, be a company’s leverage for future development, Sjöman stated, regardless if you want to strengthen your organization, build your brand or just be sure that no surprises will jump at you from the past.

A company’s history is its best proof point for future promises. All brands, Sjöman claimed, come loaded with brand associations, regardless of how young or old they are. Think of any brand, ssay IKEA, H&M or Spotify, and your head is immediately filled with images and associations. History can here be the communicator’s best tool to explain what a corporation is and does, and place itself in a larger context.

Actively working with your history is today often referred to as history marketing. And today, when content marketing has become an established marketing concept, your history might very well be the best content you could ask for.

Related to this is also heritage management, a concept used frequently in the United States and originally referring to managing cultural heritage.

Sjöman summarized the benefits of history marketing as:

  • Building the brand
  • Strengthening corporate culture
  • Minimizing the risk of repeating mistakes

“Use your history, it’s your best stepping stone going forward,” concluded Anders Sjöman, head of communication at the Centre for Business History in Stockholm.

Read more (in Swedish): History Marketing 101, en introduktion till begreppet.


About Anders Sjöman:

Anders Sjöman is head of communication at the Centre for Business History in Stockholm since 2015 and responsible for all the editorial activities at the Centre, both for corporate clients and for business history projects. Prior, Anders was a communication consultant at Springtime in Sweden, head of communication at video-on-demand service Voddler and a course developer for Harvard Business School’s European Research Center in  Paris. Anders holds a M. Sc. in Economics and Business Administration from the Stockholm School of Economics.