Since he experienced tragedy at age of 14, the real-life psychologist who inspired the show "Lie To Me" has searched for signs of hidden human emotion in faces. New applications based on his findings are getting attention from Apple, Pixar, Google, the Army, and others.
I've consistently seen conjecture, and occasionally even numbers, to back up the point that recessions drive innovation. In particular, one of the oft-repeated "truths" is that a down economy clears us of outmoded thinking as companies are forced to become leaner and more creative to stay alive. I'm sure that's the case in many respects. However, equally as "true" is the often deep-seeded inability of corporate infrastructure to adapt.
While brands still try hard to "crack the Social Media code," most seem to understand consumers no longer find the prospect of being friends with a brand more engaging than the single click it took to fan the brand page on Facebook. After all, what's so novel about the thought of a friendship with my butter? Precisely, nothing.
His brand didn't tank because he smashed his car on a residential street he'd driven hundreds of times before or even because there was something fishy about the whole incident; it changed because he stonewalled.
Great retailers know they must be in the rhythm of societal trends. We know how contemporary Apple stores, Abercrombie, Sephora's, and Coach stores feel. But I want to talk about plain old grocery shopping.
Like a CSI episode, where the evidence at first is invisible but then magically becomes apparent to the talented investigator throughout the crime scene, the forensic evidence about what people want from retail and what keeps them up at night is right there in their shopping cart.
With so many companies in the past few years talking about producing online video and other forms of "branded entertainment," I'm amazed by how people often talk about these trends as if they are new. Radio and early television was full of "product placement" and shows produced directly through the subsidy of major brands, such as The Philco Playhouse and Texaco Star Theater.