Everywhere I turn lately, people are talking about fundamental shifts in our society and how those play out in consumer behavior. In a recent Fast Co.Exist piece “The Age of Uprisings, Brand Movements, and Ad Backlashes” (based on his book, Uprising), Scott Goodson wrote of the fact that marketers can no longer just be concerned with the product they’re selling; they need to consider what their client’s brand stands for. On this blog, our own Jaime Dávila wrote “Consumers Coming Out…of the Pocket,” exploring how the recession has all of us, consumers and brands, thinking about more than just the bottom line. Earlier this week, Wolff Olins’s Sam Wilson wrote an article on Fast Co.Design entitled, “The New Strategic Edge: Tapping Your Customers’ Personal Passions,” about the increasing connection between social purpose and business. And last week on Advertising Age, Jeff Rosenblum wrote insightfully about “The Revolution Our Industry Needs,” a revolution in which advertising recognizes that “great modern brands will be built on behavior, not messages—on being great, not just looking great.”
I’ve always marveled at the incredible human ability to get on with things, the amazing individual and collective forces that sustain everyday life. The rules of the game might be changing, but we will not stop playing. The economic model our society is based on is shifting beneath our feet but, looking at the majority of people on the surface, you wouldn’t know it. The truth is that many of us can feel the rumble, though. And no, this is not another article about Facebook—at least it’s not intended to be.
The never-ending economic crisis, the questionable perpetual growth aspiration in a finite world via exhaustible resources, and the information revolution are at the core of the shift. In other words, something fundamental is broken in our model and the word is spreading; it can't just be that we need to get back to growing our production; more did not mean better for everyone in the end.