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Risk-Averse: Marketers Are In Sync With The Culture

January 11, 2022

Sign says "Caution Banana Peel Ahead" little guy with briefcase panicking even though he's in wide open area and could easily walk around banana peel

Let’s face it: most content looks and sounds the same.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Blogs, ads, books, videos, music, movies, TV shows– you name it.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Marketers and brands have always copied each other, but today, it’s a rare brand that stands out.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Nobody wants to take a chance. Nobody wants to offend.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Which means little or no innovation, because innovation– trying something new– involves risk.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Result: most brands look the same, which makes them invisible, which is the worst possible thing for a brand.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Or is it just me??blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Apparently not.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Peggy Noonan writes an opinion column for the Wall Street Journal. Her November 27-28, 2021 column was about risk aversion, and how it’s become a global phenomenon.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Her remarks were inspired by a new study conducted by the Institute for Family Studies, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Wheatley Institution. At several points she quotes Yuval Levin, a director at AEI.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Some excerpts:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

The new passivity is global, and further along in parts of Europe and Asia… the waning of “life scripts” provided by family, religion, and traditional norms (means) younger Americans are less sure of where to step and how to build their lives.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

We are seeing “a rising generation acutely averse to risk,” and this trend isn’t confined to the young. “Excessive risk aversion” is deforming other areas of American life, from child rearing to work and public leadership.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

And it seems intertwined with a general tendency toward inhibition… we see this in speech and conduct codes, which leave Americans “walking on eggshells around each other in many of our major institutions.”blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

This new ethos “stifles the public arena while denying us recourse to private arenas and tells us how not to behave without showing us how to thrive.” (my emphases)blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

So it’s not just brands and marketers who are risk-averse and afraid of making mistakes. They mirror the culture around them, opting for “passivity” over action.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Walking on eggshells, hanging back, afraid to take chances.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

It’s not a recipe for success.

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About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. My images are different, like your brand needs to be.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Questions? Send me an email.blank vertical space, 40 pixels highRecommendation testimonial for Mark Armstrong Illustration from Doug Busk, VP Communications, Emory U. former Global Group Director Social Media at Coca-Cola

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2022 4:52 AM

    Thank you very much!!!

    Like

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