Archives that inspire: A fireside chat with Erin Narloch from Reebok
Working in archives for a company could easily sound like a job where someone who looks like a librarian is tucked away in a forgotten part of a building looking after papers in folders packed into metal filing cabinets. It’s actually a shock to most people when you tell them a company has a corporate archivist in general. When people hear archivist or historian they might think of someone who lives in the past and doesn’t understand the current climate of their industry, trends, or forward-thinking strategies. After all, what would someone who spends their time piecing together history know about the future?
It turns out they know a LOT.
While archivists are experts of the past, they are also a company’s biggest asset when it comes to looking toward the future. They are investigators, collaborators, creatives, and torch holders of a brand. If a brand is made up of its people, products, beliefs, and heritage, then its value is only as good as what we can remember about it. Corporate archivists and historians ensure we understand a brand’s important stories and continue to add to those stories in meaningful ways.
Pretty important right?
We think so, and work with an archivist who has turned her company’s archives into one of their most valuable assets because of the work and creativity it inspires. We are talking about Erin Narloch, Reebok’s senior archive manager. In her recent visit to Enwoven for a fireside chat we joked her role as “archive manager” should really be “Reebok expert.” Her work is incredible and breaking the mold of what we might think of as a traditional “archivist.”
Our co-founder and CEO Niles took some time to dive deeper into her unique approach and view of archives. She talks about how she encouraged people at Reebok to realize the potential of their history and start leveraging it in impactful ways from marketing to branding and product design. This is a fireside chat we have been looking forward to for a long time.