Discover more from Strategy Bites
#28 – What Taylor Swift knows, what a brand is, and why Naomi Klein does care about hers
Good afternoon everyone,
With a 24-hour delay, here is the latest issue of Strategy Bites. This week we’re looking into what a brand is, what Taylor Swift knows, what’s wrong with trends, what’s up with digital generations, and why Naomi Klein ironically cares about her own brand.
Enjoy the clicks!
Thanks for reading Strategy Bites! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Here are this week’s Six Links of Inspiration:
Trend Scanning + You. Trends, or what we often call them, are a triggering topic. Particularly when you work in an industry that uses the term for anything that happens on TikTok. ”The language of trends has been reduced to a leaderboard on a social media site. Most people in the ‘real’ world don’t really give a singular damn about what goblin mode means. Our media ecosystem relies on this model: a thing happens online, people write about it, we force it into being a phenomenon, and we move on.” In her piece, Nikita cautions about this development and urges people to stay true to their own values rather than chasing after every “trend.” Surely an almost impossible task for trend hunters that get paid for filling pages of reports rather than delivering groundbreaking change: ”When the currency of culture is virality, culture is flattened into fleeting moments.”
From Alpha to Z: raising the digital generations. A big report on the media behaviours of the young with data from 2022. It answers questions how kids surf the internet, which apps they use, and in which online spaces they hang out – and how parents try to stay on top of it all: 70% state that tech is distracting from family time. Kids spend 4 hours on personal devices outside of school. 1 hour 47 minutes of this is spent on TikTok. 67 minutes on YouTube, which is a 20% increase. Kids spend 18% more time streaming from online video services. On average they spend 3 hours on Roblox. And Facebook is still the second most popular social app. Kids, huh?
Steve Bannon is watching us closely. Most of us will know Naomi Klein for “No Logo”. She has now published a new book that is, in parts, concerned about her own brand – which is, to her own admittance somewhat ironic. What her book really is about is what she calls the “Mirror World”, a place ”where conspiracies are spread, where left critiques of corporate power are absorbed and twisted so ‘deregulated capitalism’ is framed as ‘communism in disguise’ and ‘where soft-focus wellness influencers make common cause with fire-breathing far-right propagandists all in the name of saving and protecting ‘the children’”. It’s not a place that should be brushed off lightly and it requires some serious empathising and perspective taking. “It’s too easy to say people in the mirror world are the ones who ‘have no regard for material reality’, Klein says, and that ‘we are the people who are guided by truth and science when we all know we are in various stages of denial’. The ‘grotesque mockery and language and words that go on in the mirror world are only possible because of a generalised cheapening of words that is happening at the centre’. Politicians say they care about the climate crisis but continue subsidising fossil fuels and opening coalmines – she points to the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who joined the 2019 climate strikers that were protesting against the policies of his very government.”
What is a brand? Shared among the general glee and/or disappointment around the merger (read: killing) of two of the formerly most iconic brands in advertising, this is a nostalgic (or: maybe timeless) discussion of the concept of brand.
What Taylor Swift knows. Everybody has talked about Taylor Swift and her recent tour and her recent concert film coup and the economic power she wields. So this interview in The Atlantic might not add anything new to all of this. But I found this little bit interesting: “The Eras Tour could easily have been released as a TV series on a streaming service. But Taylor Swift, quite smartly, seemed to realize that the group experience is very crucial to her fandom—We’re all in it together; we all get all the references; we understand the contours of the tour and the eras—and that this would be best experienced in a movie theater. The magic of the theater experience is always going to be that you’re in a dark room with lots of other people who are enjoying it, and you all enjoy it together.”
Empathy Map Canvas. I’ve shared a few bits about empathy and why it might not be enough to just be “empathetic” and we should focus on proper perspective taking instead. In that vein, this canvas shared by Subu and created by Gamestorming Group feels worth sharing, because it goes a step further than just talking about empathy – it’s giving people a few pointers on how to go about it. And anything that helps strategists take the perspective of others is worth trying out.
If you enjoyed this weeks links, please consider sharing this newsletter with your friends. You might just inspire them, too.
Read you next week,