Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Change Wave of Self Control

I know that I promised the 2011 TRENDCAST unveiling in two weeks. I made that claim on September 12th a few weeks ago.

Fortunately, the unveiling will be delayed yet another week or so.

Note that I said fortunately!

In that September 12th blog post I shared several of the trigger points that are driving the 2011 CHANGE WAVE titled RE-THINK, RE-FOCUS, RE-ENGINEER.

Since that posting, I have received a series of calls from businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and politicians — yes, even politicians — that are stepping back and saying in unison… “THERE IS A BETTER WAY.”

Since that posting, the impact of RE-THINK, RE-FOCUS, RE-ENGINEER has crossed the tipping point in the historic media world.

The conventional news nets and cable news nets along with the news-rags across the US are now daily reporting on the CHANGE WAVE that will take place on November 2nd Election Day.

Today, CNN is posting a lead story titled, “What went wrong for Democrats” with a picture of our president and speaker of the house looking grim to say the least.

Note that this story in posting on CNN…not on FOX News.

In the current issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, there is a great article about how businesses are routing around banks and finding new ways to fund their aspirations.

Two years ago the politico staked their branding in a platform using the word CHANGE.

Today, the marketplace is not staking a claim…but instead, is taking action.

Which leads into another 2011-Forward CHANGE WAVE!

THE ACQUISITION OF SELF-CONTROL.

The Tea Party Movement provides only a glimpse of what is really taking place in the marketplace.

Parents are doing it with kids. Franchisees are doing it with their restaurants. Community groups are doing it with their city blocks. Job seekers are doing it with their career paths. Physicians are doing it with their practices mechanics.

Back in 2006, Yankelovich reported how individuals they surveyed mentioned frustration with “the system” and, as a result of the frustration, how they were seeking direction more from friends and family.

Yankelovich attributed this frustration to a combination of the impact of terrorism and the unknown as well as the continued task automation of technology.

Yes…the Millennials drove the results of the 2008 election, but unlike the media packaging of it being a rejection of the past and a call of change, many Millennials that I interview in On-the-Streets and Coffee House Chats describe the election as an extension of their “leaving the home” and claiming a sense of self destiny.

From Millennials to Boomers to Mature WWIIers… the events experienced over the last two years have only poured gasoline on the sparks and now are igniting an explosion of self-destiny.

This past week, I moved part of my business back into the city. Part of the week I will work out of a nice farm cottage in a small college town and part of the week from an intown Atlanta office or coffee house.

Does this fit the model of small business dynamics? No. Does it fit with how business is defined by the Chamber of Commerce groups? No. Does it fit with the way the IRS defines small business? No.

And to be honest, I don’t care.

On my drive from Athens to Atlanta, I usually stop at either a Starbucks or a QT gas station to pick up a coffee or soft drink.

A couple of observations at Starbucks…
• Most of the customers order a custom coffee and I give the Baristas kudos for not only making the drinks on a custom level, but even remembering many of the personal concoctions
• More than half of the customers use standard descriptors when referring to the size of their drinks instead of “tall,” “grande” or “venti”

A couple of observations at QT…
• When customers go in to get a soft drink, they often mix different soda options together into a personal concoction that is all their own
• QT offers flavor enhancers that can be added to any soda options
• Customers do the same thing with coffees, flavored crèmes and even with mixing mochas and lattes with standard coffee

I realize that these observations seem trivial and some of you reading this may even say that the observations simply illustrate the desire for customization… but I believe that the driver behind the actions is much broader and rooted much deeper than what appears on the surface.

Businesses and entrepreneurs who have called me over the last couple of weeks do see opportunity opening up.

And when I ask what is driving the need to dig into the dimensions of their visions, their brands, their market and their customers… they nearly all say in unison…

“If we are going to move forward, we are going to have to do it ourselves.”

This is not something that we will see limited to the November Election. This is not something that we will see limited to 2011.

This is a CHANGE WAVE that is going to drive the Baby Boomers into their retirement years and drive the Millennials for the remainder of their lives.

If you want to glean more insight into the CHANGE WAVES… go to our website experiencediscovery.com and there are snapshots of the five CHANGE WAVES that are re-scripting the paradigm of our marketplace, consumers and brands.

I promise…and I will make sure it is kept… in the next blog post in a week or so, I will post the 2011 TRENDCASTS! Promise!

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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.