Understanding Cultural Systems - Introduction

A big problem many small organizations face is a lack of time and money to do marketing research - the kind that larger companies seem to have at their disposal. But any small business will tell you that understanding customers is critical to their success, probably even more so than for their bigger competitors. I'm kicking off a series about how you can overcome this challenge and still get powerful insights that will help focus your strategy and guide creative direction. It's about quickly and affordably getting meaningful insights that will inspire confidence in your clients or prospects. 

The key is leveraging the vast amount of data that already exists, which yes, is quite obvious. But what's important is then analyzing that data in the context of cultural systems. Cultural systems are the powerful social forces that shape how we think, relate or act, often without our even knowing how they are influencing us. It’s what shaped us as we grew up, and what continues to influence us as we go about day-to-day life. 

It's things like kinship, how we’ve come to believe what is attractive or healthy, the role of rituals and tradition, even the physical space around us as we interact with something or someone. 

I am going to talk about how to start thinking in terms of cultural positioning, or where your brand fits into day-to-day life. This is opposed to classical market positioning, a fairly intellectual exercise, where we analyze where a brand fits vis-a-vis its competitors. We are going to learn how your brand can successfully evolve in this rapid iteration,  business environment we live in. The next video is a good one, explaining what cultural systems are and using the concept of "social power" in the recent election as an example.