“The days of people buying things before they have the money are over and it won’t be back in our lifetime. Spending habits have made a permanent shift in this recession” – Bill Harris
Day 4 of Engage Today 2009
Have you changed your spending this year? Think about it … and be honest.
I can only think of a few people in my life that haven’t really changed their spending habits this year. Most people have cut back on vacations or have started bringing their lunch to work or have made some other significant adjustment in their spending.
I know we made some changes. And it’s definitely in part been because of the recession but it’s also because we have come to realize that the things we thought were important aren’t. Suddenly the money we’d spent on clothes at Holt Renfrew seemed so frivolous. We realized that we wanted to make changes in our life to simplify. In the end what we really concluded was that the things we were allowing ourselves to believe were important weren’t important at all.
We’ve opened our eyes to see what we really need and want in life.
And while I thought this was a realization we’d come to on our own, Michael Drew took to the stage and explained that it’s actually an entire cultural shift that is happening.
It’s tipping point was in 2003 when Britney Spears had her infamous kiss with Madonna and then fell into a spiral of disaster after public disaster. That moment in time marked a point where we had reached the height of an individualistic society and began our shift slowly back towards a civic society; A society where we are all more human. A society where we all desire to be more authentic and demand that of the people we look up to as our heroes.
One only needs to look to the movies to see this shift happening in pop culture just as strongly as in our own hearts and minds. Look at the James Bond movies … once the icon for an individual reality that just wasn’t achievable for any real human, in the latest Bond movie we were introduced to a rougher version of James Bond in Quantum of Solace. This one bled. This one was definitely not perfect. He didn’t even hook up with the Bond girl … since when does James Bond not hook up with the Bond girl?! In a world where James Bond is more human… that’s where.
Or you could shift your attention to today’s version of James Bond … Jason Bourne. He is flawed in so many ways. He’s conflicted. And yet he is our hero.
Bill Harris really built on this presentation with his thoughts about how we, as a society, have changed our spending habits. And he’s confident that this shift is not temporary.
We’ve changed our approach to spending and more importantly we’re changing the demands we’re placing on the companies that advertise to us.
No longer will we tolerate companies that sell us something that does not meet up to it’s promised benefits. With technology we spread the word in a lightning fast way. Corporations have to pay attention because, once again a quick look at the movies tells you just how fast we communicate. Thanks to websites like Facebook and Twitter we know BEFORE the movie is over whether people like it or not.
Yesterday’s Twitter stream was alive with the hashtag #TMobileSucks. In other words, somebody was angry with TMobile and started tweeting about it. Before long it became a community wide discussion about the flaws in TMobile’s service.
We’re Tweeting and Facebooking with each other from where ever we are. And mostly those words can be read publicly by anyone. That alone changes the face of advertising!
If you know you’re being watched and you have to be accountable for your every action will that change how you act?
I know having someone watching me run makes me run faster. I know that when I eat alone I make different choices then when I eat with a group. I suspect the same can be said for companies too! And as a consumer base … we’re watching …
Unfortunately … we had to leave at the lunch break to catch our flights, so we missed the afternoon of the final day of Engage Today. I checked out some video footage of what we missed and I highly recommend you do the same. In particular … we missed Vishen Lakhiani orchestrating an incredible symphony with the attendees.
I was so fascinated with Michael Drew’s presentation that I am heading back to Calgary in a few weeks to take his Book Publishing 2.0 program. I don’t have a book to publish but it was an opportunity to challenge my thinking in yet another new way and I just couldn’t pass it up. You might want to check it out yourself http://bookpublishing2.com.
We’re also registered for next years Engage Today event scheduled to happen in June 2010. We hope to see you there! It’s hard to believe it’s possible because this year’s event was truly extraordinary, but Greg and Kourosh promise it will be bigger and better than this year. And, I believe they will deliver on that promise.