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Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 4.38.03 PMThe future arrives on our doorsteps every day as a new opportunity. So why is it that some of us seek to perpetuate the status quo when there is so much to gain from moving forward? This is the story of a valuable lesson relearned.

We recently met with the executives of a national association whose members are marketing organizations that sell travel-related products to the public. We have a service product that enables each of their members to understand customer-driven best practices, implement them and track their progress (rating) vs. the norm…something that currently isn’t being done. So rather than market directly to each member, our thought was to work with the association and provide a new benefit to their members.

All was good, except for the ratings part. They said: “Why would we want our members to compare themselves to one another?” Our answer was pretty simple: They already do. Everyday, everywhere on the Internet they are being reviewed and ranked. To make matters worse, the rankings and reviews are subjective and unreliable; where one person says 5-stars, another says 2-stars. By providing objective data and reviews as an alternative we can begin to balance the equation.

But they politely declined. In the end, personal agendas were more compelling than actual progress. In this case, the individuals involved were at the peak of their careers – a few years from retirement. In spite of clear benefits to their members, an agenda of change was not worth their personal risk.

Is your personal agenda in line with your professional agenda?

by Dwayne Fry Brand Futurist/Minister of Strategy/Department of Idealists


I’ve long held the belief that all advertising isn’t competing against other advertising. It’s competing against anything else the consumer would rather be looking at.

Which, in this case, is the rear end of a 5’9″ mini-skirt-wearing Frau.

In a brilliant move, Mercedes tells the story (now that they have our complete undivided attention. At least the men’s) of how they use eye-tracking software to track which parts of an automobile’s exterior catches a test subject’s eye. And, perhaps gratuitously, to see if the software is working, they test it on the rear end of a 5’9″ blonde. And yes, the software is working. Men stare at the woman’s hips first, next her butt, which they say is to test for child-bearing potential.

It’s actually a fascinating video. Mercedes found out that consumers stare at the roofline, headline, taillights, in that order. It’s quite an amusing way to spend 10 minutes with a brand. Also way more interesting than an ad, or TV spot. Mercedes has figured out that in order to get us to think about their brand, they have to fascinate us.

Not interrupt us. View the spot and read more here

by Miles Cartwright Brand Futurist The Republik Sergeant Creative Ops