Friday, 13 March 2009

Subcultural creatives

Many brands succeed by their attachment to a tribe or their ability to "find a parade", as Marty Neumeier promotes in his excellent little book 'ZAG'. Reading Tom Heuerman's latest pamphlet 'The Cultural Creatives' I see that brand Obama's success was largely due to the wave of Cultural Creatives in the US nurturing the right climate for his optimistic leadership.

Cultural Creatives have a lot of resonance with the Brand Guardians leadership. The basic values of authenticity, engaged action, idealism, globalism and ecology, and the importance of women are close to our hearts and implicit in our work. We are also highly sympathetic to the less than perfect creative process. In the article Heuerman says, "Creativity is messy and inefficient. Mistakes will be made as we move beyond our knowledge. Not all will be done well. Such is the nature of transformational change."

The thought of influential tribes and cultural leaders reminded me of the extraordinary 'Exactitudes' project by Dutch photographer Ari Versluis and profiler Ellie Uyttenbroek. Their work brings a visual analysis to ideas of individualism and identity. They were featured in an episode of 'The Culture Show' last year (which incidentally briefly shows our eldest son as a 'bonkerboy').

Perceptiveness and sensitivity to cultural tides are heightened at the moment, and essential to chart our way to a better future.