All together now

22 May 2008 at 5:37 pm Leave a comment

Jo Phillips writes:

When she spoke at the Booksellers Association conference last week Michelle Harrison, one of our Directors, implored the industry to think harder about how to sell books to consumers who are showing signs that they prize collective experience far more than they used to. This extends beyond valuing such experiences over material things (e.g. a book) to valuing the shared experience above the individual experience (e.g. reading a book in the bath). Whereas five years ago people were telling us what they wanted most was a bit of ‘me-time’, now it seems above all what we value is quality ‘we-time’.

As we move into the summer season in the UK this desire to get together is evident in the huge growth in festivals of all kinds and scales – last year there were over 550 of them and nearly two thirds of adults have attended a live music event in the last three years. Booksellers are in on this act – the Hay Festival, which starts today, grows larger every year (new for this year is a link up with a prison broadening its base further). Book clubs are also growing in popularity. But these are still niche audiences among book-buyers.

The need for social innovation is a challenge to many industries that have focused on benefits for individuals. It may call for turning the category on its head, as Nintendo Wii did by sidestepping the industry competition for faster, bigger, better graphics to focus on enabling living room fun between friends, or through product innovation, as Walkers Sensations did by creating the sharing crisps opportunity.

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Entry filed under: books, brands, communities, innovation.

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The Futures Company blog

The Futures Company was created through the merger of Henley Centre HeadlightVision and Yankelovich in 2008. This is the blog of the new company - but the former posts from the former Henley Centre Headlightvision blog still can be found here.


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