three Ideas For Going through Change And Disruption
Disturbing events always feel significant and world-changing in the heat of the moment. It feels like everything matters and nothing will ever be the same. But of course it never works that way. A few things change, some for good and some for bad, but most things stay the same. We look back later and much of what we thought would change has been forgotten like a New Year's resolution. Because of this, senior executives can take the cynical view that all dreams are dreams. Too often they have seen too little change too little.
But changes after a disorder are not all or nothing. It is also not entirely unpredictable. Disruptions are more common than we remember. Since the turn of the century, we've had three major and a handful of minor disorders. So there are a number of experiences that point to some rough regularities in the turbulence on the market. The new and the non-new that follows disturbances is what this thought is about.
Past experience recommends three principles for assessing whether or not the so-called normality that follows a disturbance is new. These principles lie in a continuum from nothing new to something new for everything new. They have granular relevance for brands, no less than macroeconomic relevance for categories and markets. And they define a sequence of gates through which every change must go in order to be permanent and far-reaching.
The first of these is the principle of the "new cola". Often, if not mostly, the new does not make any progress because the danger of change revives the old. The second of these is the asymmetry principle. Changes that are necessary due to urgent circumstances are reversed, but not completely. Some changes find a budget and progress from there. The third of these is the principle of acceleration. Major disruptions punish inefficiencies and eliminate aging conventions, making emerging trends mainstream.
Cultural resonance, asymmetry and acceleration
New coke is a principle of cultural resonance and is associated with lifestyle. Asymmetry is a principle for a quality experience and is therefore linked to the product or service itself. Acceleration is a principle to build on an emerging presence and is therefore associated with market conditions that together create a time window. All three imply innovation in one way or another.
This graphic shows how these three principles come together. In future considerations about Branding Strategy Insider, I will go into specific examples or effects of these principles on the upcoming market.
It should be remembered that during a disorder, people want life to return to normal. People never strive for a new normal. They mourn the loss of their old life. People are concerned about what was taken away. They are not eager to jump head first into the unknown. They don't want what they remember, something unknown and uncertain.
Sometimes we confuse the new normal with the things that are necessary for people to be able to return to their old lives. For example, after September 11, stricter security was introduced at airports and buildings. As soon as this safety limit is exceeded, people feel safe and secure enough to work again as usual. People have taken into account the inconvenience of additional security to resume life as they knew it before.
What is often forgotten is that normal life is shaped and supported by institutional structures and market restrictions. In this context, normal life takes place. Sometimes the structures and restrictions need to be changed or expanded, but the purpose is always to become normal again.
This does not mean that life does not change under normal circumstances or that people want to return to a life that is frozen in time during a disorder. Change is a normal part of life. There are no disturbances. People want to go back to the routine of normal change.
But sometimes change is inherited from interference. The commercial imperative is to find out when this is likely and what will change. Experience shows that people accept changes caused by disorders if they are in line with their cultural values and lifestyle, if they meet their expectations for quality and if they come from a bud that has already turned green on the vine , come to full bloom.
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