What is offensive anyway?

Culture of change, SOCIETAL NORMS

I found this image posted on a Paleo blog I follow and there was a lot of discussion around everyone’s reaction to the pic.

The majority felt it was disrespectful and that it was “fat shaming” which was unacceptable.

What stood out for me, was that I have never really seen that much outrage about an actual Barbie. While I can understand the reaction to this as being seen as disrespectful, I found it interesting that people weren’t as offended by a Barbie. At the risk of sounding like a bra burning feminist (which I am not!) – Barbie that promotes unhealthy body image, reduces the female to a glamour-esque creature that needs to behave in a certain way and is overtly artificial in terms of beauty.

When did the world become more concerned about not offending people (which I can understand) versus promoting the support of natural beauty, healthy body image, a normal relationship with food and celebration of diversity.

It boggles my mind! Interesting. Had to share my views on this one.


When knowledge is harmful

Brand leadership, Culture of change, Leadership

I have always focused on keeping up to date with trends and shifts in consumer behaviour. My challenge is to read 30 articles every day of a variety of topics. Random stuff that catches my attention. This has served me well and more often than not, I can start picking up on themes which helps me make more informed decisions in my day job.

There is that aspect of too much knowledge when your audience does not understand your references or the significance of your discussion. You could be viewed as too excited about niche trends or too involved with jargon.

This is becoming more and more pronounced within our industry and the challenge lies in helping our counterparts understand the context and sharing in a meaningful way. The brand success relies on being relevant to the here and now while firmly pursuing the brand ideals.

These are challenging times to be in! Gone are the days of stereotypical approaches and clearly defined demographics.

The opportunity lies in challenging thinking and moving on slowly in line with trends without losing the essence of the brand.

I am not sure all companies are ready for this. I will be monitoring this trend quite closely in future.

The mushy middle

Brand leadership, Culture of change, Leadership, Uncategorized

I was inspired by an article I read about Samsung acknowledging that their cell phone business was at risk because people buy the phone for Android as opposed to Samsung. So who owns the customer – well Android does!

But so what, right? What does that mean in terms of brand and marketing? The fact is that in this competitive world of competition and same same products and offerings, people want the experience they trust and that emulates their own personal brand. The experience becomes a way for them to fulfill their needs for self actualisation.

Brands and companies who don’t realize this are at major risk and I notice in my own circle, that people underestimate how close this sense of being “defunct” really is.

It’s not coming. It’s here. Business approach and speed to market needs to be accelerated. The consumer is going to out pace us and leave us behind. The question is, how quickly we will be able to adapt and give them what they need. Time will tell!