Change and the Perception of Change

How can you argue against change? Everyone wants the new, the hot, the fresh. Change means better, right?

Ask anyone if they want to make more money, pay less taxes, be safer and create a better life for their children, who would not say “yes, we need change!”

But at what cost?

As I see the current political climate, the overarching theme is “Change.” It always has been.

After all, how many successful campaigns haven’t used CHANGE as the main messaging? Status quo just isn’t sexy – nor should it be. We are always seeking “better.”

Establishment vs. Anti-establishment is another way to look at the issue as well. Railing against the system as rebels is in our collective national DNA since the 1700’s.

So when the marketer in me tries to analyze the 2016 Presidential race, it becomes clear that despite the personalities, change is what is making the difference.

In the showdown of radical change vs. incremental change, the allure of the radical change will beat incremental change every time. Just the slight chance that we will do vastly better if we risk it all is a choice worth taking. Isn’t it?

What’s the worse that can happen?

So how is this a marketing issue? Well, if you look at any “new and improved” product, the marketer is selling change. Whether it’s a new model automobile, house, lawnmower or dishwasher, most people want the change in their life because certainly that will make us happier.

Status quo is not where it’s at in politics, products or events. It might get the job done, but it’s never going to win over the majority of Americans who want the newest, the best-est widget available. Sure, the brightest have put long hours into figuring out the most efficient way things should operate, but we always believe there’s always a better mousetrap.

What’s interesting in this analysis is that many of our events are successful because of their tradition and what people can count on from attending our offering. How much opportunity is there really for change without the brand you have taken so long to build? That’s a question for you to ask your board, staff and volunteers.

It is a difficult line to walk between brand and change. Brand is something we work on creating and polishing, while change is the new, the exciting and the unknown. Opportunity! Possibility!

The results of the election will become clear soon enough, but in the meantime it is an interesting exercise to view the different shifts in the campaign when viewed through the lens of marketing and to interpret politics of change in a new and different way.

About

Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years. Currently, Sean is a principal in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the U.S. including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference. Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street, a program of the Allentown Chamber of Commerce in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire or email him anytime at sking.aspire@gmail.com

Posted in Arts, Event Marketing, Events, Marketing, Politics

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About Sean King
Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years.  Currently, Sean is a principle in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the United States including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference.  Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street program in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. He also blogs a artsmarketingblog.org.  You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire. Sean resides with his wife Natalie and son Haydn in the global crossroads of Fogelsville, Pa.