John Sculley here is conflating — if not confusing — creative destruction with disruption. Creative destruction is a paradigm shift wrought by a monsoon of new technology. (To whatever degree pre-existing industries are strong and flexible, this is to their benefit, too. The drastic shrinking of the candle market brought about by the pervasive distribution of kerosene was to Procter and Gamble’s ultimate advantage.)
Creative destruction changes externals, but not the individual’s psyche. Disruption changes the process of thought and even state of being. In the aftermath of a storm of creative destruction, a product still is sold to the customer. With disruption (in either form) the customer is sold to a product.
Yes, Kodak should have understood that their real business was image production, not silver halide laden plastic film. Even so, the needs of the consumer did not change. New grandparents, major newspapers, police photographers, insurance investigators, medical researchers, . . . wanted and continue to want pictures produced quickly and efficiently; digital cameras better serve that need. The many users of WordPerfect, DBase and Lotus 1-2-3 on an IBM XT already were well aware that a personal computer basically had become a necessity. The Mac lowered the learning curve and took the chore out of the use of a computer. Apple did not change the what and the why of computer ownership; that had to wait for the rise of the Internet. As Mr. Sculley points out, Pepsi’s marketing used — but did not cause — a demographic shift. A glass jaw in the strategy of Coca Cola (past experience: old friends, good memories, nostalgia and tradition) left it open to a knockout by Pepsi Generation promotion.
Disruption really refers to two very different things: cognitive dissonance and dissociation / automaticity. Cognitive dissonance affects the schemas. Dissociation / automaticity sculpts identity and habit through memory. An example of disruption is Procter and Gamble’s soap products as candle sales began to contract. An initially rather rough-hewn 19th century USA had to be taught personal grooming in order to be transformed into the great washed.
The risk of ossification and then fossilization for large firms is something that I completely agree with. Procter and Gamble now faces a significant challenge from Green products.
I read with great interest the Branding Strategy Insider discussion of Watts’s theory that “trends break out when they intersect with ‘a critical mass of easily influenced people.’”
Some years back, I worked on a political project that crafted an avant-garde, a cadre. The results are discussed here:
The intent was to form a group that would receive, amplify and transmit a message in the same way that a radio signal is propagated through the ionosphere. This approach implemented and melded both the General Opinion and Opinion Leader concepts. The network that we put together already was amenable to our message. Likely prospects were invited to attend talks and then were invited to provide contact information for more information and future events. The subsequent emails (or phone calls) at the very least contained talking points. Often — and increasingly so as election day approached — there was a call to action — provide the names and email addresses of like-minded family and friends and email/phone individuals in your personal circle who share the same ideas. In this way, the network was self-replicating with each of the members soon becoming the center of their own set of followers who were not in direct communication with the campaign.
From a distance, my impression is that Procter and Gamble does something very similar with their Tremor.
If you ever need a New York City lawyer for patents, trademarks, trade secrets or other intellectual property, I heartily recommend Charles H. Knull.
And you thought all that “reptilian brain” (Which it really isn’t. The “reptilian brain” controls heart rate, breathing and temperature regulation. It’s the limbic brain — an innovation of mammals — that’s involved with emotions.) stuff was like cutting-edge?
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After getting fired from his academic post at Johns Hopkins, Watson began working for one of the biggest advertising agencies in New York City, J. Walter Thompson. (He was dismissed for his scandalous divorce. Short story: He fell in love with a graduate student while he was married to a woman who was one of his undergraduate students 17 years earlier.)
He believed that in order for advertising to be effective, it should appeal to three innate emotions: love, fear and rage.
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