The Election Edition

How not to get lost this week

I write weekly newsletter about how the new forms of social, cultural, and environmental capital change brand strategy. This newsletter has been selected as one of the best single-operator newsletters on the Internet. If you enjoy this issue, you can order my book and get in touch at andjelicaaa at gmail dot com for my availability and fees for expert interviews, talks and advisory and consulting engagements. Share this newsletter with anyone you think may find it useful, and subscribe below:

No matter what happens tomorrow, we are in for a turbulent week. Autocrats have their way of never letting us forget about them. Our attention is their oxygen. Take it from me: I grew up under two autocrats. The second one is eating a sandwich up there on the photo. The first one was glorified in the songs we chanted as kids. He also adorned the first page of all our notebooks. Both tyrants painted themselves as saviors of the nation. Both were populists, there to protect people. Both were, and still are, impossible to forget.

When things got rough in his business, a friend of mine would take a walk on the Far Rockaway beach and recite Serbian epic songs, glorifying bravery of our folk under the rule of Ottoman Empire, to encourage himself. I selected a introduction from Nobel laureate Ivo Andric’s book, Signs by the Roadside. I hope it gets you through this week.

There are some traditional stories that are so universal that we forget when and where we heard or read them, and they live in us like the memory of some experience of our own.

Such a story is the one about the young man who, wandering through the world to seek his fortune, set out along a dangerous road, not knowing where it was leading him. So as not to lose his way, the young man took an axe and carved in the trunks of the thees beside the road signs which would later show him the way back.

The young man personifies the shared, eternal destiny of all mankind: on the one hand, a dangerous and uncertain road, and on the other our deep human need not to get lost, but to find our way in the world and leave some trace behind us. The signs we leave after us will not escape the destiny of everything human - transience and oblivion. They may never be noticed at all and perhaps no one will understand them. But still, they are necessary, just as it is natural and necessary that we should open our hearts and communicate with others.

If these small obscure signs do not save us from disorientation and all kinds of trials, they can at least make them easier, and help us in so far as they convince us that, in everything we do, we are not alone, nor the first, nor unique …


Last Monday, I had a pleasure of being a guest at Why is This Interesting? Monday Media Diet series. It goes intowhat I am reading, listening and clicking on, what I recommend as a must-visit place and why I am obsessed with cultural curation. Read here.


My book came out on October 27th. It’s about what happened to taste, communities, and social influence when the economy shifted from manufacturing things to manufacturing aspiration. It’s also about how this shift changes what we find valuable and worth paying for and how brands should transform their strategies to adapt. You can order from a number of mainstream and independent booksellers listed here.