Change the culture, change the world

 

Plenty of marketing, particularly the marketing of social-change groups, focuses on educating people and getting them to make different (and better) decisions.
But most actions aren't decisions at all.
In Reykjavik, shopkeepers keep their doors closed (it's cold!) and if they were aware that in Telluride most stores keep their doors propped open (even in the winter) they'd think it was nuts.
In China, the typical household saves three to five times as much of their income as a household in the US. This is not an active decision, it's a cultural component.
The list goes on and on. A practioner of Jainism doesn't have a daily discussion about being a vegetarian, and a female graduate of Johns Hopkins is likely pre-sold on the role of women in the workplace.
If you ask someone about a cultural practice, the answer almost always boils down to, "that's what people like me do."
Powerful organizations and great brands got there by aligning with and accelerating tectonic cultural shifts, not by tweaking sales one at a time.
There are two lessons here. The first is that the easiest thing to do is merely amplify what a culture is already embracing. The second is that real change is cultural change, and you must go about it with the intent to change the culture, not to merely make the easy change, the easy sale.
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