The top is the half way mark
Mt Everest holds a special place in New Zealand 's consciousness. Ed Hillary climbed it with Tenzing Norgay and actually got to the summit and back in 1953.
It may be that the English climber Mallory made it to the summit before the New Zealand beekeeper. But Mallory didn't make it home to tell the tale.
Ed Hillary is widely regarded as a great New Zealander. One of the greatest. I agree, but not for the reasons most people do.
Climbing Everest for the first time must have been challenging for him and I'm glad he 'knocked the bugger off' for himself - because 'conquering' a very small point at the top of the world seems to me to have very little real point or consequence other than as a personal challenge.
Isn't it ironic that Hillary's real qualification as The One & Only is not for 'conquering' Everest and, literally, being on top of the world, but for his SERVICE to the community. He put aside the very ego that drove him to the summit and got under the people he aims to serve.
See my earlier post: You gotta serve someboby
In Nepal Sir Ed is regarded as a living God not because of his 'conquest' of Everest, but because of his humble service to the people, building schools and medical facilities.
The same is true for brands.
It's not enough to make it to the top - promoting your brand into the consciouness.
You have to make it down the mountain - then get on with your life. What will you do for your constituents? (I don't like to call them consumers). Great brands are Sisyphian in their labours.
The corollary to the idea that consumers 'own the brand' is that brands have a duty to serve.
Brands that reciprocate and become a part of the community they serve are the brands that will enjoy the greatest value.
I'm just thinking through the implications of this idea (which occured to me while watching a documentary on television about Everest). So, it's a little raw.
I'll get back to you.
I read a book some time ago about Rob Hall's final ascent of Everest (from which he did not descend). It is a frighteningly good read...
Into Thin Air - By Jon Krakauer