In 1967 Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work The Medium is the Message.
In 1977 my father handed me this book, on my first day working for him and he told me to read it at least twice and to remember its message.
Now in 2014 it feels more relevant than ever as consumers have stopped listening to brand messages and now relate to them through the medium of experience. They, themselves, have become the medium through which brand’s communicate.
We are hearing this every day of every week as we listen to consumers trying to understand what’s going on in their worlds in order to help our clients make better decisions and improve how they meet customer needs and unmet needs.
What we are hearing load and clear at the moment is that materialism is out and experience is in, with a vengeance. Disposable income rocks and saving…well what’s the point at the returns we get.
The young aspiring consumers have stopped lusting after things and turned their attention to unique experiences, using them to define themselves through what they do and not what they own, experiences are their “wealth” and accumulated in The Banks of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to name but a few.
So if you are a custodian of a brand, I hesitate to say manage for obvious reasons, then you really must sit up and listen to what you are been told. Get the experience right and constantly keep it fresh and you will inspire a very alive and vibrant medium that McLuhan would be proud of. Serve up same old, same old experiences and the sepia tint of a yesterbrand will colour the opinions of your consumers.
This attitudinal shift was brilliantly articulated in the Glass House column in The Sunday Times Magazine this weekend by Katie Glass @katieglassST.
The lesson is there for us all to see.
Now I know why my father made me read that book way back in 1977.