Ed Hillary requiem reprise

Ed Hilary died the other day. 88 years old. A good trot.
I've been disgusted by the level of media coverage. On the day of his death there was NO OTHER NEWS COVERAGE on the 6 o'clock bulletins. Apparently nothing else happened in the whole world that day. Shameful. especially when I wanted some information about the 24 hour Xtra blackout. Much more important to me.
Sentiment aside; I stand by my thoughts of April 05:

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.

Brand karma.


  1. Good point. Although making it to the top is already a noble accomplishment, living to tell the tale creates an even bigger buzz. It is admirable how Sir Ed managed his life after Everest. Hopefully, more people can follow his example.


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