Monday, March 4, 2019

Beyond the Confines of Conventional Perception

Mark Kooyman
4 min readSep 25, 2019

Creativity gets itself cemented into a belief that the wackier, more tech-engineered and more animated the idea, the more authentic and opportune the venture that it generates.

As I have written in this blog already this year, television ad spots are a great case in point.

Millennials have now taken over the day-to-day workforce of the ad agencies. Ad agencies have now become addicted to “off-the-wall” ad formats. These naive newbies perceive scripting the TV ads as scripting a mini-video series.

I purposely did not post a blog right after the Super Bowl. I avoided voicing then, as many others did via the mass media, the ads that ran were horrific.

Since then, like a virus, the ad agencies have generated follow-ups that appear in a pre-packaged format that continues the next chapter of the initial ads.

I am an advocate of brand consistency. I abhor the continuation of idiocy.

Several great cases in point.

I am sure that the production teams producing the insurance ads for brands like Geico, Progressive and Farmers tell their friends about how they are cooking up the next star character episodes. I would a $100 down on the table that the same productions teams could not describe the insurance products sold by each client.

The revolving new venture capital Dot-Com start-ups are running ads where there is limited conveyance of what the heck the website or app even does. The site hit rate might increase the 10–15 minutes after the ads run, but I would hate to see those digital financial returns.

And the Chevy ads featuring the past focus group moderator that now freely and directly biases and sways the opinion voiced of the ignorant representatives of middle America is not that much more of a media-investment redline as the Toyota ads that at least paint a slightly better IQ level of its ad participants.

Okay, enough about the ad agencies.

There’s a great story buried in today’s Wall Street Journal about Amazon… and the article never mentions New York!

Instead, it talks about how Amazon is exploring the dis-assembly of health insurance and how to re-engineer health insurance to more efficiently operate.

Taking conventional products like health insurance and reconfiguring the models might… just might… lead to a totally new product model. Is the process an easy one? No. It causes a lot of discomfort and sleepless nights. And that is GOOD.

Amazon also announced that they are launching a new grocery store chain with the first stores opening up in evolving neighborhoods in LA, Austin, Washington and Seattle.

Are they opening up in the urban, historic-Millennial past-trendy neighborhoods?

No. They are opening up where the Millennial families are moving to and purchasing their first homes.

I was in both Kroger and Publix stores over this past weekend and felt that I had landed in a brand environment that was scraping to survive.

While a majority of the new, online order prime parking spots were empty, staff inside the stores where pushing large warehouse carts up and down the aisles to grab items to fill bags for those who ordered their weekly grocery supply online.

Can’t wait to see the new Amazon grocery stores. My bet is that there will be a very clear, defined point of difference from the retail store-warehouse hodge-podge into which the soon post-mortem brands evolve.

Apple announced an internal team shake-down. AT&T is re-engineering Warner Bros. and Turner Entertainment and past top leadership has been replaced.

And it’s not just the Millennials driving the re-thinking. Boomers are the historic drivers and believe it or not, they are still around!

It was never my intent to go after the funeral homes, but EXPERIENCE has worked with a set of them from the east coast to the Pacific west.

In this morning’s WSJ, there’s a story titled, “The Freeform Funeral” that features an immediate family on a beach that just honored a passing member of the family. The Boomers just might re-define funerals as technology did in redefining travel agencies.

We have become re-entrenched in healthcare with a great project work in tandem with a very hip global architectural firm. Last week I spent three hours with the healthcare leadership team in getting-to-know the changing neighborhoods around a new hospital acquisition.

Many were surprised to learn that the neighborhoods that they assumed to be comprised of a certain type of end-consumer had changed… and future change is churning fast.

Were the ideas generated concentrated all around the digital world of the Internet?

Absolutely not. In fact, the ideas included pets, coaches, yoga studios and even a nutritional work-from-home café.

Whether its modular housing or new ways to manage health or designing a grocery store for 2030, the catalyst in innovation is driven by the consumer / end-user need.

Not by what’s cute or funny or high tech or social or engineered.

And it all begins with letting go of comfort and getting out from behind the walls of the cocoon.

Mark Kooyman

CEO & Discovery Chief at EXPERIENCE Insight Group, Inc. In the business to discover and craft brand experiences that humans seek out and engage in.