Thursday, February 9, 2017

England, DIY-TV, PTAs, Indie Cafes… What Do they have in Common?

Mark Kooyman
4 min readSep 24, 2019

England, The U.S., Tiny Houses, DIY TV, France, Indie Cafes, Holland, PTAs.

The global marketplace is going through radical change.

Some brands are capitalizing on it. Many more dwell in their corporate cells oblivious to the outside world.

In high school, I participated in a special class program. We could study whatever topics we wanted and it was up to the teachers to weave in the fundamental classes of math, history, grammar, etc.

We decided to study the physics of social change. The teachers liked it because it would incorporate mathematics and history all together in one session of learning.

What we learned quickly is how the forces of change are driven by natural physics to seek out a sense of balance and how in the process, there are often radical shifts in opposite direction. Shifts magnified by the consistency of drive in the opposite direction.

Telecommunications set the global stage of what we are experiencing as I write this blog. The connectivity of people initially from across town moved quickly to cross-country and eventually globally.

Today, IoT (the Internet of Things) is producing a globalization that extends beyond the unification of people to the unification of environments.

Yesterday morning, I had coffee with a GenXer in Atlanta who currently works in real estate. He’s a nice guy. He’s also a political Libertarian convinced that the U.N. is on a mission of global unification.

He voiced less concern about what form of governmental and economic modeling global unification would take and more concern about the whole concept of unification.

When he voiced his concern, I quickly noted that his discomfort was not a disconnect with the fact that we were meeting at a café that was not Starbucks.

Kicking off 2017, I am spending a lot of time working with several brands that are having to step back and total re-engineer the operational mechanics of their brand deliverables.

National brands crafted their standardization model all the way down to their graphic standards manual and hit the accelerator full speed forward in market roll-out.

I vowed this year not to write a blog about the Super Bowl ads.

Too many folks now do it and the depth level of commentary does not venture much deeper than the surface.

The news media though has become pre-occupied in the Audi, 84 Lumber and AirBnB ads that sought to voice political perspectives.

What’s fascinating is that the very fact that brands elected to produce and run the ads.

Those brands might not be able to affect global change, but by damn, they are going to at least take individual control and convey an unchallenged viewpoint in that $2.5 million, 30-second time block.

Hollywood does live in LA-LA-Land and while they cannot change the election, they can at least locally deny its existence and pretend that they are effective agents of change. Especially within the environment of broadcast and stage performances.

And again, that is their world where they control the stage!

Re-focus on the controllable.

England, The U.S., Tiny Houses, DIY TV, France, Indie Cafes, Holland, PTAs.

Seeking a sense of local control, authorship and interconnectivity is driving a radical refocus of relationship that transcends beyond other humans, but iconic elements of identity and relationship.

And that includes corporations and brands.

Telecommunications, the Internet and social media connected individuals but also issues, problems and encounters that cannot be managed nor resolved.

Like it or not, but the dismantling of unified and packaged branding is taking place in front of us.

Relationships are re-establishing around experiential touch-points that are predictable and manageable.

Not only are Tiny Houses easy to transport and uproot, they are financially own-able and the monolith, non-personal, automated mortgage firm is removed from the experience.

Not only are the Indie Cafes owned locally, the space and people working in them are identifiable and conversational and local.

Whether Boomers, Xers or Millennials, they all are saying screw even the third-party contractors, I can do the work myself.

Political parties are not getting it. Even those that match the banner used by the candidates or issues that voters approved. Here in the U.S., the Republicans are just as stupid-blind as the Democrats in “getting it.”

Unification, globalization, common values, universal brands… dead.

Uniqueness, individuality, locality, personal connectivity… empowerment moving forward.

If you are reading this… realize where you need to refocus attention…

1. What is the character of your audience groups? Give up the perspective of thinking of a universal target group… and further give up the belief that the individual groups universally seek out the same brand experience.

2. How can you operationally localize the brand? Is it in the physicality of presentation? Is it in the personality of presentation? Is it in the actual construction of the brand itself?

3. How can the communications be personally engaging? And if you think social media is the answer, go jump off the side of the building! Social media is NOT the answer.

It’s not as easy as 1–2–3, but it’s also not complex and can be avoided.

If you haven’t been disrupted yet… fastened the seat belts.


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.