‘Twas ever thus. However much we don’t like to admit it.

This is a great, eloquent speech, but the most important thing to note is this:

This is a very complicated world. It’s a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is.

As much as we love the work we do, the reality is that it is largely inconsequential to people’s lives.  We are mere distractions to the everyday tasks of taking kids to school, doing the washing, thinking about what we’re going to have for tea, how we are going to get that promotion.  As Seth Godin put it in answering a question about how companies could get marketing right:

Start by understanding that no one cares about them.

Sometimes, to some people, we break that routine by entertaining them and providing them something of interest but we are wallpaper. As Howard Gossage put it

people don’t read ads, they read what interests them and sometimes it’s an ad

What’s a football club?

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What is a club in any case? It’s not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes. It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city. It’s a small boy, clambering up the stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.

Sir Bobby Robson