Friday, July 27, 2012

Reality vs. The Marketing Version

Prophet Brand Strategy has a blog out this week on the concept of a "human library."

Basically in the Prophet model this is a good way to get thoughtful customers with extra money to waste same.

It seems a clothing company paid Prophet to "check out" four human "books" (jazz ensemble, dancers, etc.) to get over themselves and start acting like a team.

I am thinking that the Army could provide this experience for a smaller fee and reduce the deficit at the same time.

The problem with the blog is not Prophet per se. Those who can, do. I say go for it.

No the problem is how removed from reality we have become. The problem is that we accept a marketing version of reality sold back to us as real. Rather than simply living.

If you have a crappy team dynamic you don't need to interview anyone. You need to get in a room or out at a boot camp and learn how to talk with other people. Away from the chat and the smartphone and the Facebook and the other distancing devices. Away from the brands.

In the end we are all human and frail and weak in one way or another. Becoming a team means accepting that in yourself and others, and taking the time to find points of connection as you work toward a goal.

Brands are great fun but they are only temporary. It's important to distinguish between the fantasy we pay for, and the life we live.

Ironically, learning about humans by "checking them out" of a "library" is about as dehumanizing as you can get.

It's the kind of thing that people do when they subconsciously have no desire to really team at all.