July 1, 2010
Not every company can afford a Chief Cultural Officer…..but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to cultural trends relevant to your business. Not every purchase is based on rational, calculated decisions by the end-user…..many times they are directly tied to meanings and rules that the product symbolizes in our minds and culture.
Businesses need to pay attention to current culture and how their brand fits. Being aware of cultural changes and tracking the changes that matter to our brand allow us to make decisions about how we reach our market.
The difference between cool (fast) and true (slow) culture…
Cool refers to the latest fads and fashions. Think “15 minutes of fame”. Although a lot of money can be made in that 15 minutes, most brands are looking to be a bit more endearing and long lasting. True culture is based on cultural traditions and is generally slow changing. Only 20% of culture is made up of cool fads and fashions, the remaining 80% is true culture….the stuff that lasts a long time and is part of our cultural foundation.
Be aware of cool culture and how these trends impact your brand, but make sure you have your vision on the long haul too. Business and success is about balance and knowing the appropriate balance for you and your brand. I’m fortunate in my business to have a whole collection of current cultural gurus, most of my staff is pretty young and hip in terms of technology (since that’s their job!). But they also tend to lack the knowledge and vision of how current trends balance with cultural standards to truly govern our brand placement. Building strong brand in current culture requires more than just being cool……it requires thought and vision that provides a necessary or desired service in the minds of your audience.