When we were finishing I Feel Slovenija branding concept and book together with Petra Lapajne, Maja Konečnik and Leslie de Chernatony, I knew that it is not going to be hard to gain approval from a client (government of Slovenija) and approval from the internal and external market (both assumptions proved correct), but to establish sustainable management system to run the brand alive.
As can be proved by “life formula” F’in’g = ν x (ts), there are two gravity black holes in human complex system: one that either freezes or loose control over frequency/quantity and another that freezes or loose control over timespace.
In brand systems ν can be understood as number and frequency of brand particles. Brand particles are in fact smallest components of any brand, represented in brand management systems as elements of brand formula, elements of brand story; mental concepts or memes. If brand is composed of too few memes, we say that such a brand is frozen. Even better analogy would be chain nuclear reaction. Too few colliding atoms or particles produce nuclear reaction but only the quantity above certain threshold sustain it. Few brand memes suffice for a brand to exist in particular moment, but the interplay off sufficient large quantity of interactive memes make such brand sustainable. If there are too many (unrelated) memes in brand identity than normally life force of brand (F’in’g) is not strong enough to keep the brand together.
To get F’in’g for brand ν should be multiplied by (ts). (It might be multiplied by (ts)², but this is not so important for this argument.) It is trivial to understand brands to exist timespace. This tells us that integrity of brand over timespace follows the rule of entropy if nothing, no energy is added as F in ‘g. If F is large enough (ts) expands. If F is low then (ts) shrinks.
Two years after the brand was established (accepted by Slovenian Government) I was sure that we will not be confronted with serious changes in (ts) part of formula. And I was right. Not much was really going there. But I was wrong being afraid that ν number is going to be too high to keep brand alive without additional energy brought in. Fortunately I was wrong! I Feel Slovenia brand ν number was reduced to 1: “green”. All the rest was forgotten. At that time I was really hurt for I knew that the sustainability and the beauty of this brand lied and lies in its memetic richness. I could not realized then that brand as living creature adapted itself to the lack of energy that is needed to sustain (counteract entropy) whole structure of memes. Brand hibernated then like a bear in winter time hoping that spring arrives with all the food needed for full life and reproduction.
And the spring came indeed. It did not come overnight as a revolutionary change, but now after more than 10 years after the brand was delivered, I Feel Slovenia seems to rely on large enough and diverse enough sources that add enough energy to sustain its further replication. As a necessary (evolutionary) consequence stakeholders are attached to more than one topmost meme, green. From Green, Active, Healthy memes that were defining brand on highest level for last three years, this year Slovenian Tourist Board campaign promote “My Way” as a metaphor for a subject of “I Feel”. Additional food for I Feel Slovenia is provided by customers that share it (replicate it) on their own account thus providing new energy free of charge for brand owner. Different Slovenian stakeholders are starting to explore co-branding potentials, various commercial entities among them, that will not only bring additional F, but will inevitably also elrange and enrich the ν number.