2017 was a year that has left many feeling stressed and exhausted. The year was full of negative events including terrorist attacks and weather-related catastrophes that were beyond our control. Yet, the year wasn’t all bad—if one looks closely and on a micro-level, there are moments of joy and evidence of good. Nevertheless, 2017 leaves us eager to welcome a new year and a fresh start, one where we take control and tune out the noise and rise above it; where we participate and speak up; where we take on complexity and be pragmatic; where we counter what ails us, stress, negativity, and old norms; where we view problems differently and see positive challenges and opportunities; where we move forward to make real progress.
There are big problems in the world to solve from transitioning to a new economy and providing affordable housing to reversing and dealing with the impacts of climate change. There are also ways we can make people’s lives more enjoyable, manageable, and secure. 2018 is a year to approach these problems and opportunities with Positivity and Pragmatic Progress.
What does this mean for companies and brands?
- Turn on creativity and innovation to counter old practices, approaches, and beliefs, and generate fresh perspectives and new ideas to make better progress.
- Embrace reality and complexity to find real solutions by seeing things in new ways
- Partner with organizations at the local and state level to sustain economic growth and livability for citizens
- Take responsibility for and take action behind the role your company and brand have in the world
- Consider longer term implications of new technologies—invest in understanding their impact on society and ethics implications
- Make sure there is an equal exchange between consumers and the data they provide and what you offer them in return
- Elevate your brand to the new brand standard
- Build a brand that demonstrates character
- Deliver more responsible communication
- Set a positive tone, one that is civil, uplifting, and transparent
- Provide richer, “surround sound” experiences for shoppers
- Help consumers feel better
- Put women into leadership roles that have cultural influence
- Put experienced leaders in place and for longer to make real, pragmatic progress