Monthly Archives: May 2013

4 Things Brands Can Learn from Jay Gatsby


(Warning: Spoilers Ahead)

1) Patience: Often the temptation to be first, trumps the need to be correct: Donald Trump I’m looking at you. Jay Gatsby on the other hand, always had a strategy, but he wasn’t rushing it out the door: the man painstakingly waited 5 years to see Daisy again. He understood the art of timing and anticipation: how to set up the tee, place the ball, wait for the wind to change, and drive it right down the fairway.

2) Re-invention: The hardest part of transforming is taking the first step. The 1920’s saw the old idea of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness being replaced with opulence, luxury and excess. Gatsby understood the changing landscape. James Gatz re-branded himself into Jay Gatsby; a figure who would be well received by his audience (the wealthy) because he knew exactly what they wanted (money). More importantly, he knew how to present himself as someone his audience would not only respect, but accept. Gaining acceptance meant Gatsby could work from a position of influence, and start controlling the dialogue around him.

3) ‘Green Light’: Staying on task and remembering what’s truly important might sound easy, but if that were true, would ‘doodling’ exist? For Gatsby, the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock is a dangling carrot: a constant reminder of his goal for which he never lost sight. Jay’s ninja like focus is one that should be mimicked especially when the day-to-day minutia can get in the way of what matters.

4) Hard work: In the name of accumulating his wealth, Gatsby partook in some shady endeavours *cough* bootlegging. But he still worked his butt off for 5 years, with no guarantee of a final payoff. And sure throwing parties every Saturday night might sound like fun, but to Jay Gatsby it was all business. Parties were a means to an end in his pursuit of Daisy, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy himself along the way, see: Rolls Royce, Buckingham Palace-type mansion and 3-piece pink suit.