The SCN Encourager – Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More to “Pendulum” than the “me” and “we” swings.

Remember the anti-bullying “flash mob” hockey game video I wrote about a few days ago? (Don’t worry if you can’t remember it. I can barely remember it myself.  See? We deserve each other!)

I pointed out an intriguing contention in Michael Drew’s book “Pendulum,” in which he illustrates how society shifts every decade or so between “we” and “me.”

There’s more. Drew also believes that every generation hears things differently and this impacts how they make their unique decisions. 

Consider his example that highlighted the expensive marketing efforts of an alternative rock radio station in Canada.

For several months, the station spent heavily to promote itself as the place for alternative rock featuring the likes of Pearl Jam, Green Day, Nirvana, and Muse. Unfortunately, the station blew threw a ton of cash without seeing any increase in listeners or market share for its investment.

Eventually, the station took seriously the generational differences in how people listen and act and made a simple change in its advertising – one that caused their market share to quickly jump up by 28%. So what did the station do?  It simply changed its ad copy to promote itself as the place for alternative rock that was “Gaga-Free” and “Bieber-Free.” 

The station discovered that 19-29 year-olds want to know more than who you are and what you do; this group also wants a clear understanding of what you’re not.

I couldn’t agree more. My three daughters are in this demographic. They’ve a good handle on “what I’m not.” I’m happy to find out now that it’s not about good ol’ dad. It’s generational. Whew!

Tom Page, SCN managing editor
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