Magazine article Marketing

Britons Must Be Educated out of Learning Apathy

Magazine article Marketing

Britons Must Be Educated out of Learning Apathy

Article excerpt

Can marketing provide the thrust a regenerated Britain needs? Some think it can. But it qualifies as the toughest brand brief on offer. The RSA's campaign for learning, Learning for Life, is taking it on as we speak, supported by Britain's biggest companies: Thorn, BT, BA and Unilever. What's new about it? It is the first direct approach to get demand initiative into learning and raise competitive standing in a market where initiatives for too long have happened a long way from here.

Why is it so difficult? Not because consumers dislike the learning brand -- quite the reverse. `Learning sucks' was a verbatim response but an atypical one. Quadrangle Consulting's research produced these unexpected findings.

First, surprise -- there isn't an attitude problem at all. 95% of Britons know `you're never too old to learn new things'. Three-quarters say learning leads to better life quality and that it matters personally. Everyone thinks it a prime business responsibility to encourage workplace learning. Pretty good? Well, we're unhappy at school and for most they were not the `best days of our lives'. But it's when it comes to action the real bad news emerges. Less than half want to try new learning and only a third will. The barrier is time, or so we claim. Not a very full response, you might think.

Conclusions follow. To get significant impact Learning for Life must focus its consumer message. Learning Britons segment four discrete ways, into improvers (positive, likely to act etc), strugglers, at another extreme (no action or desire to learn). …

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