May 9

Tourists and tribal norms

I have a friend and her teenagers staying and its always rather thought provoking to see London through fresh eyes. The familiar trivial little things we take for granted causing surprise, delight and the occasional look of disgust and eeeuu’s. A sense of calm and order emerges as I see them out of the door to ‘do’ London in the mornings, with chaos returning en-mass early evening…

I would love to know why teenage girls in particular subscribe to having the image of the playboy bunny dangling from their necks, ears, key-rings… on handbags, fluffy slippers… cushions? What is it about this, the ultimate in commercialised symbols that reduces womankind to caricatures of male desire, that is suddenly in the realms of cool? Beats me, although one can only pay homage to rather smart marketeers and brand consultants. Oh, and all the other usual human stuff like a tribal sense of belonging that never really leaves us no matter what the age.

A case in point with a client that I am working with to prepare him for a change in role and industry… new market, new clients, new set of tribal norms. And they really do differ from an external perspective, although the underlying drivers are all the same. He needs to establish his presence… to beat the drum with a rhythm that others will recognise and march to. If not, he says it will be an uphill struggle he can do without.


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