Friday, March 13, 2009

Freight Train of Change

Understanding market forces and business drivers allows you to shape and crystallize a vision for your personal or professional brand.

In other words, you need to know what's coming around the corner well before you get steamrolled by a locomotive of change. As a guy nicknamed Ike once put it:

"Neither a wise man or a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him" DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

Currently, economic headlines are dominated by corporate institutions and entire industries being flattened by a runaway train loaded by millions of GenY'ers stoked with attitude and technology. TSB saw the light at the end of this tunnel coming, as far back as December 15, 2003 when a wizard foretold with blistering accuracy what was about to happen.

Don't take our word for it.

Study the memo for yourself.

It would appear that few "big shots" in the automotive, newspaper, broadcasting, real estate and other industries got the memo, or if they did, failed to pay close enough attention. Only a tiny handful grasped the implications of the speeding bullet that was headed their way by 2009.

Now that damage has been done and financial bloodbaths are everywhere, here are three revealing things happening right now that might impact your brand:

#1 - E-mail is sliding. Social networking is climbing.

Old, saddled with spam and incapable of immediately informing the world every time a friend so much as consumes a cheeseburger, the once-mighty e-mail has finally lost the popularity contest with social networking.

Blogging and social-network sites such as Facebook and Twitter are now the fourth-most popular online activities, eclipsing e-mail and growing twice as fast as any other category in the top three, according to a research report released yesterday by Nielsen Online. The biggest increase to "member community" sites - an extra 11.3 million people - came from the 35-to-49-year-old demographic.
Globe and Mail 3/10/09

Today, Facebook boasts about 175 million users. Serious implications for companies and brands that need to get on the social media rails. The genie escaped the bottle long ago and this GenY creation is here to stay.

#2. SXSW is ready to rock Austin, Texas - and the rest of the world.

"In its 22 years, SXSW has grown from a tiny music festival in the Texas capital into a massive, unavoidable media beast that reflects, discusses and showcases trends in culture and media but also often creates them." National Post, 3/13/08

Beginning with 700 registrants in 1987, SXSW (South by South West) will attract more than 12,000 registrants people this month . Some of the brightest web heads mix with propeller heads and visionary entrepreneurs to enjoy music, film and the odd soda at this breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies.

One of the hottest, social media apps, Twitter launched at SXSW Interactive in 2007. For more on the story, meet Lifecaster Sarah Austin on Pop17, a two-to-three minute video update that profiles the new cultural phenomenon of online micro-celebrity.

#3. Andrew MacKinnon is worth reading.

His work as a blogger speaks for itself.

Requiring zero hype or superfluous superlatives, people like Andrew can help you make sense of it all. His recent analysis of the crisis facing newspaper publishing was most insightful :

The 2009 freight train of change waits for no one.

Are you and your brand on it?

If not, you might want to begin by absorbing the memo.

"I hear the train a comin'; it's rollin' 'round the bend, And I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when" JOHNNY CASH

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