When History Factory began in 1979, it was a tough time to get companies excited about the value of their corporate history. With the economy in the worst shape since the Great Depression, potential clients were more worried about being history than using history.
As a result of the poor economy, History Factory (then known as Informative Design Group) would often be asked to organize old materials left behind by departments that had been dismantled. This proved to be excellent training for the development of our corporate archival system that is today the equal of museums and universities.
As founder Bruce Weindruch said of those early days, “We were, in many ways, idealists. We didn’t fully understand the power of corporate history. We knew history was something real. That it was authentic—and that authentic content was a rare commodity. If the information you’re trying to communicate is yours, then you stand a better chance of connecting with people. Who, after all, doesn’t want to be a part of history in one way or another?”
As corporate excellence and authenticity became recognized as essential to a company’s brand, History Factory was there to help clients not only uncover authentic content but also understand how best to use it. “We need to look at our clients’ history from the vantage point of where they are right now,” Bruce said. “They’re thinking about what they need to do today to get to tomorrow—and we can use history to help support those goals.”
From this realization, History Factory’s guiding philosophy of Start with the Future and Work Back™ was born, and the authentic content revolution was underway.
In the four decades since that “a-ha moment,” History Factory has used authentic content to “Start with the Future and Work Back” for corporate anniversaries and milestones, exhibits and experiences, publications, archival services, digital content, videos and storytelling, employee communications, and customer engagement.
As we embark on our fifth decade in the business, we intend to live up to one of Bruce’s favorite sayings: “We’re not good because we’re old. We’re old because we’re good.”