Magazine article Marketing

The Stability of Human Nature in a Shifting World

Magazine article Marketing

The Stability of Human Nature in a Shifting World

Article excerpt

As we approach the year 2000 and become confronted by conference themes of the "Marketing for the New Millennium" variety, it's easy to become jittery and think that the whole marketing and advertising rulebook is going to be ripped up because some kind of transformation of the entire human race is on the cards.

Relax, it's called millenarianism. This slightly hysterical belief that immense impending change is about to happen tends to recur as the zeros appear on the dial at the end of each 100-year span. But though social circumstances change, and technology evolves rapidly, it remains true that the underlying motivations of human behaviour change much less, if they change at all.

Public hangings were abolished here in 1868, but I'm prepared to bet that if we still had them there would be large advance crowds at the foot of the platform, playing Hangmario on their Gameboys, then rushing home later to catch the replay on Your Gibbets Tonight.

What are the implications for advertising and brands? It's easy to become bemused by the rapid burgeoning of media forms, for example. If the babble about interactive media is true, a lot of things will be changing. People may learn to programme their videos.

But if you're seeking to build a brand that will endure, remember that big, successful modern brands are built on an understanding of the underlying needs of human beings.

Apple grew big and successful because somebody recognised that selling a human-centred computer is a lot easier than trying to create computer-centred humans. …

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