Something New Every Day

Issue 00/14

The future of companies involves making the values to which they owe their success. As a reward they will have an unprecedented relationship with their territory and users.

Cities are no longer merely touristic icons; they have their own personality, a broader identity, and other ways of living and relating to their own people. Citizens demand and need ongoing renovation, innovation and reinvention. They want their cities to be more cosmopolitan, they want to see them every day with fresh eyes, as if they weren’t the cities they actually live in, and thus discover something new every day.

Ambrogio & Pietro Lorenzetti: The Allegory of Good and Bad Government, 1338–39. Palazzo Pubblico di Siena: Salla della Pace, Siena, Italy

Over recent years, either due to circumstantial difficulties or to the search for change, many people, for different reasons—a desire to undertake an entrepreneurial venture or a simple need, have created new business models that bear witness to the fact that the radical transformations of cities are chiefly produced by their inhabitants.

Before such urban scenarios, which above all are different, large companies are aware that they must be re-invigorated, updated, not only so they can coexist with a reality in which change is imposed but in order to become an active part of that change.

Cities and city dwellers are no longer content with hearing from companies what their mission and vision for the future are. They want more. They want their values to be more than defining traits; they want proof that their corporate values and philosophy are as real and tangible as to guarantee their personal and long-awaited identification with the ‘brand.’

Large companies must promote changes in strategy and in the course they steer, turning from traditional to ‘experiential’ marketing.

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Diego Rivera: Edsel B. Ford, 1932. Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, USA

I consider myself lucky to have witnessed how the large multinational company MasterCard has devoted some of its energy to changing its message. ‘There are some things that money can’t buy’ is no longer the popular claim of an advertising campaign, endlessly repeated by ordinary citizens, but a global platform that provides ‘priceless’ experiences. In what territory does this take place? Not surprisingly, in the city. And who is the target of the message? Its inhabitants.

The success of the project isn’t due exclusively to its continuity, but to the numerous messages of acknowledgement that the company receives from its chief players, i.e. users. Yet the real conclusion we should draw from such actions is that reconnecting with customers and with their territory, and assuming responsibility for the city and city dwellers should be the objectives of all large companies that not only aspire to survive but to to adapt to the times that are continuously changing.