Breaking News: People Like to Shop

By , 15 January, 2009, No Comment

In an oft quoted passage of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith once wrote “The propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another is a necessary consequence of the faculty of reason and of speech.” In other words, every nation is a nation of shopkeepers and we are all innate consumers.

That would explain why those who aren’t asking for money so often adopt the language of commerce to make their case, and why biological analogies to evolution are so key to economic and social models.

Example: political blog FastTalkExpress lays out the five techniques that are prerequisite for building a digital persona, or a political brand: they are “Be A Character,” “Start with a Bang,” “Have a User-Friendly Website,” “Attract Traffic” and “Watch for Threats.” Translation: key principles are speed, access, personalization, simplicity, and interactivity. Google search those buzzwords and you turn up business stories and company websites, not political campaigns. I plugged similar themes myself in a series of articles aimed at business leaders in 2007.

It works both ways: business leaders can take lessons from other types of “sales pitches” to influence their decision making. Barack Obama’s campaign tactics have become case studies in B-school classes and story starting points for countless business journalists. The best dissection, however, is still Fast Company’s story on Obama-as-brand from last spring. That’s my pre-inauguration recommended reading.

Related Posts
Leave a Reply