Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Leading 2011 CHANGE WAVE!

In two weeks I will be unveiling my 2011 BrandVenture Trendcast.

It is one of the earliest unveilings of the annual Trendcast to-date…but there is movement in the marketplace that is shaking the foundations of brands and organizations alike.

In addition to 10 key market trends that will affect the marketplace in 2011, there are five BIG trends that I term CHANGE WAVES.

Before I reveal one of those CHANGE WAVES… let me first share some experiences and observations.

I received an invoice for our FEDEX shipping account this past week. It was sent to an address where I occupied temporary space in the transition move from Atlanta to Athens.

Somehow that address got registered in some national database as the official address for BrandVenture.

When I called FEDEX to change the address, I was routed to three different people who each were assigned a very specific task…but not the task of changing the address on a small business account.

When I ultimately landed on the correct person and told that person that the actual street address was incorrect, the address change needed to be made in the system “at large” and I had to stay online as the changes were being made.

I was placed on hold for 10 minutes.

Over the course of the last three months, my AT&T Internet service has dropped repeatedly when I hit the web.

I can cruise online freely with no dropped service elsewhere, but here in my office, the service drops.

When I contacted AT&T about the service problem, I was required to go through an on-the-phone series of assessments before AT&T would consider sending a service person to the house.

More than a dozen and a half calls later, a new router box and two AT&T service visits to the house, the system still drops.

I have reached peace with the dropping of the service for now.

The last thing that I want to do is to contact AT&T and get placed again in the service loop.

My parents purchased a pair of those high tech new washer and dryers about two years ago from the nearby Home Depot.

Two weeks ago, the dryer started beeping like a smoke alarm and the only way that my father was able to get the noise to stop was to hit the circuit breaker.

My father is 82 years old.

When he called Home Depot, they asked him a set of questions and then, in turn, sent him over to a separate service center. Again, they asked him a set of questions and ultimately connected him with a local service rep.

It turned out that the service rep has been doing appliance repairs for more than 35 years. When he and my dad spoke, the guy said that he immediately knew what was not working, but before he could order the part needed; he had to assess the product onsite.

When the service rep finally got to the house a week later, he spent more than hour contacting a home base and going through a set of dialogue with a person on the other end of the phone.

Finally the assessment was complete.

Next they had to order the part and then schedule a second visit to install the part and again go through an assessment set of questions before the dryer was given the green light to use again.

What the service guy immediately knew was exactly what was wrong, but unfortunately the service guy could not order the part and then schedule a simple visit to replace the part.

He had to abide by the system and the process.

The last story I will share is a phone call I had with my friend and colleague Hope Schultz.

Hope is now working as a senior VP with a top New York marketing research firm.

She told me about a current project with a showcase brand in the consumer packaged goods body-moisturizing business.

This client has spent a lot of money doing some great work to delve into the behavior sets and related headsets of consumers.

But despite all of the investment and insights discovered, the client is still insistent that the research firm must come back with the engineering of just how the company is going to convert over light users to heavy users.

When I asked if they had ever thought that such a conversion was not likely and that instead should dig into just when light users use the product and how to play off the emotions that ignite the use…Hope said that they have it engrained in their headsets that there is a way to convince the consumers to use it more.

All I did was laugh and asked if the client knew that “build it-buy it” is dead.

The stories I share are only a very small sample of the depth of stories shared everyday in dialogue off-line and on-line. Stories posted on Facebook and stories shared in checkout lines.

All of these stories have a common thread.

And furthermore, that common thread has been further fostered, feed and bred by corporate cocooning and the cultivation of a controlled system.

All are also very representative of the mindsets of business, non-profits and governmental organizations.

The common thread is the result of the MBA-boom of the 1980s and 1990s.

A mindset that seeks to contain discourse, dialogue and relationship into organized systems and processes.

A mindset that clings to the belief of build-it-they’ll-buy-it consumers who can be translated into numerical statistics and financial models.

A mindset that thrives on a visual mirage sense of control.

One of the 2011 CHANGE WAVES is what I term as RE-THINK, RE-FOCUS, RE-ENGINEER.

And the agent of that change will be the Entrepreneur and Innovator who will take over the limelight where MBAs and Tech-heads found fame and fortune in the past.

And this CHANGE WAVE along with four others will embrace a new platform of technology and shake the very foundation of the workplace and marketplace as we define them today.

It gets me excited and pumped… and those that embrace it will be the winners!

If you are interested in learning more about the 2011 Trendcast and would like to schedule a presentation to your team…place contact me at 404.245.9378 or