It’s been 8 years since I went out on my own and started Kickframe. As I shared at my 5-year mark, I didn’t have some great epiphany about a business idea or dreams of building a large company with my name on it. I wanted to work on my own terms – that’s it. Over the last 2+years, many have had a similar opportunity with more flexible WFH arrangements. Taking away that ‘benefit’ is at the core of the struggle companies are now facing in bringing people back to the office according to the authors of ‘Out of Office’. While the authors encourage employers to get back to first principles and dramatically rethink how work gets done, I think this issue is so challenging because it is just so personal to those that have been fortunate enough to enjoy this choice/freedom. It’s more about life than work. Maybe that explains why people went batshit on poor Malcolm Gladwell for being a fan of the office. Scott Galloway also recently shared his perspective, which was also personal. Pandemic BumpsAs many businesses are trying to bring people back to the office and ‘return’ to pre-COVID times, there is evidence that other aspects of our lives and the economy are moving back to natural trend lines (much fewer ‘The New Normal’ proclamations on LinkedIn these days btw).
- Gaming: consumer spending is down 11% prior to a COVID bump
- Ecommerce: online shopping has returned to its pre-pandemic adoption curve
- Movies: consumers are (mostly) returning to theatres for blockbusters
- Travel: New (Canadian!) data on our return to planes, trains, and automobiles
- Oh, and Peloton
As a father of 3, I’m most interested in the impact of the pandemic on kids who are unfamiliar with these trend lines. They don’t have the same benefit (or baggage) of history regarding what to return to.
Tiktokification & Creative
3 years ago, many people were laughing off TikTok like it was a QR code (scan here to find out who is having the last laugh now!) Not so much anymore. New Pew research shows that that platform is tops for teens, and Facebook is falling sharply. From a marketing perspective, Foxwell has new research that shows strong advertising performance on the platform. So, what does the future hold? Mark Ritson criticizes TikTok clones for aping their features. Ben Thompson has a smart essay (as always) on how TikTok aligns with larger trends in digital media and UI. He also uses my new favourite analogy “would you rather fight a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?”
Whatever your view of TikTok, brands need to master short, video, made-for-social creative formats. Here is a great resource with over 100 examples: Good TikTok Creative.
Strategy & Branching
Spotify is testing a feature to sell concert tickets through its platform. While it’s being spun as a way for the platform to support artists who feel they are being short-changed from streaming revenue, I thought it was an interesting example of branching from a position of strength in music. I’ve used mind map models with clients to explore they too can also branch out from a core area / offering. Below is an example focused on the topic of travel, and here is a template you can use to do something similar. [Insert go out on a limb pun here].
- READ: Making sense of the “Do Nudges Work?” debate. TLDR: We need to be more specific about what we call a nudge, and what we mean by work.
- LISTEN: Scott Galloway talks to Matthew Ball on how the metaverse might actually work. Just ordered his book.
- FOLLOW: Space Cadet has started a Twitter account called Sci-Fi Startups that is part fantasy, part tech business predictions. Weird, but I’m with it.