Monday, November 12, 2012

ONWARD.. Post 2012 Election Insights

I have taken about a week to truly get out from behind my desk and talk with real people about the presidential election results.

I physically got into my car and chatted with folks and also went online and chatted with both friends and chat group companions.

I will be right up front and share with all, that the person I voted for did not win the election.

But I am not here to preach.

Here are some key take-aways of the election.

Emotion drives us more than facts and truth.

Personality, passion and relateable experiences drive us more than factual “truths” and rational argument.

Say what you want to say about Obama and his past history, but clearly the guy was able to distinguish himself on a much more connectable level than Romney.

However one may dislike Biden’s commentaries, he presented himself as much more relatable and connected than the Generation X personality of Ryan.

Whether you connected with “Forward” or not, the Dems had a campaign “tagline” that conveyed emotional movement vs. the Republican’s who listed out the last names of their candidates.

Diversity is more American than Unity.

Some view diversity as the ignition valve of separate camps. Some see each of the individual groups as an individual minority.

Fact is, the generational group I highlight in the next key take-away has been raised in the midst of it and for them, diversity is part of what unifies their peers as distinctively them than divides.

I have written blogs in the past about the hybrid combinations of foods, fashion and entertainment that are driving product innovation. For example, I wrote one of the blogs a couple of years ago about the Asian tacos that two guys made famous in LA with their mobile “restaurant” truck.

In some ways, these hybrids are the result of what truly lead to Obama getting re-elected.

The Millennials are the springboard of major market changes.

The Millennials got Obama elected to his first four years. The Millennials are now re-crafting how we as a multi-generational America interact and see ourselves.

No question that we can thank the Boomers for catapulting the EPA. We can also thank the Boomers for bringing music into our daily beats.

The Millennials are re-defining our own notions of personal goals and achievement.

How Millennials view personal financial responsibility is distinctively different from the not too distant past.

The achievement of a goal may actually be second-class to the personality and perceived values of attempting to get there.

When we once viewed success as the driver of our pocket book and bank accounts, Millennials are re-focusing around the here and now of our own sense of self… and the inter-connectivity of ourselves with the higher good.

The marketplace is ADHD.

The Ritalin really never worked.

What is here today is gone tomorrow… quickly.

The hype of a critical event or point-of-perspective quickly is forgotten by something new, novel and different.

Brand equity is becoming redefined… and, in some ways, perhaps more easy to construct if it emotionally connects versus left-brain rationalizes.

The good news to many marketers is that a brand might be able survive PR challenges if indeed the brand has an established emotional following.

As much as a brand connects emotionally, there is even more of a need for the marketing to be driven by very smart, rifle-targeted strategy.

The DEMs are famous for their grass-roots, micro-targeted, well-crafted, emotionally-charged marketing strategy.

The GOP is not.

The GOP still believes that if they bang on the headset of the electorate enough with rational facts, that it will passionately rally its troops and vote for their candidate of choice.

The next four years are likely to be difficult years.

The economy is not going to jump quickly nor will businesses implement large budgets to simply spend money and build brand awareness.

For brands to grow, marketing can no longer be driven by “build it and they will buy it” rationale and perspective.

Personal final note.

Over the years in the business, I have personally met times of change and challenge.

I have learned in many ways to adapt and refine.

I personally believe that the America I knew growing up will probably not be back on stage ever again.

I not only believe that the approach I preach to my clients, businesses, entrepreneurs and cohorts could not be more on target today, but is truly what will move brands FORWARD.

Okay… since I did not vote for the guy that is still in the White House, I will borrow perhaps the more applicable “charge” from one of the guys I do truly admire…

As Howard Schultz coined in the title of his most recent book about the brand adaption and change at Starbucks…

ONWARD.

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