Most of entrepreneurs and marketers, particularly in the marketing of social-change groups, focuses on educating people and getting them to make different (and better) decisions.

But most actions are not decisions at all.

In Bethlehem and some of the coldest places in the country, storeowners keep their doors closed (it’s cold!) and if they were aware that in Messina most stores keep their doors wide open (even in the winter) they would think it was crazy.

In China, the typical household saves three to five times as much of their income as a household in the South Africa. This is not an active decision, it’s a cultural component.

The list goes on and on. A vegetarian does not have a daily discussion about being a vegetarian.

If you ask someone about a cultural practice, the answer almost always boils down to, “that’s what people like me do.”

Powerful businesses and great brands got there by aligning with and accelerating tectonic cultural shifts, not by tweaking sales one at a time.

There are two lessons here:

  • The first is that the easiest thing to do is merely magnify what a culture is already embracing; and
  • The second is that real change is cultural change, and you must go about it with the intent to change the culture, not to merely make the easy change, the easy sale.

Change the culture, change the world

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