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The Dream Society – How the coming shift from information to imagination will transform your business (Rolf Jensen McGraw)

There are six market profiles:
1. Adventures for Sale
2. The Market for Togetherness, Friendship, and Love
3. The Market for Care
4. The Who-am-I Market
5. The Market for Peace of Mind
6. The Market for Convictions

In the Information Society, our work has been driven by information technology; in the Dream Society, our work will be driven by stories and emotions, not just by data.

Definition of a “story” =value statement.

The market will gradually be emotionally defined. Pushing it a bit to extremes, we could say that the product itself (its content or utility value) will become secondary – the product will be an appendix, the main purpose of which is to embody whatever story is being sold.

1. Adventures for Sale: Small-Medium-Large-Extra Large

“Only half of all advertising is effective, only we don’t know which half.”

The stories that we create a demand for as we sit in front of the TV are typically about good being victorious over evil. It’s a story we never grow tired of, since we come upon it too seldom in real life.

2. The Market for Togetherness, Friendship, and Love

Emotional fulfillment is a key aspect in the Dream Society. Companies in the Dream Society will become even more concerned with interpersonal relationships – romance, family, friendship, neighbors – as they explore ways of tapping into the market for togetherness, friendship, and love.

The Market for Love

Love, of course, does not constitute a market. It is about strong feelings occurring between human beings, and it is one of the feelings that science cannot define and should hold no monopoly in defining. Love is enchantment, fascination, and abandon, a subject that only the most skillful poets and writers can describe, making us exclaim, “Yes, that’s how it is.” Eternal stories about the one big love, from Romeo and Juliet to Gone with the Wind, are indispensable to our understanding of ourselves as human beings.

The fine French perfumes with their sophisticated scents revolve around love, around seduction. Just a short list of names on the labels will demonstrate that the makers have understood their market: True Love, Poison, Dolce Vita, Original Women, Eternity, Narcisse, Eden. These are symbols of strong emotions – so strong, in fact, that discount sales are out of the question. There can be no discounts on love and sensuality.

Gary Hamel, management expert and professor at the London Business School, wrote an award-winning article on strategy for the Harvard Business review. Briefly put, the idea was that successful strategy consists of imagining what the market will look like in the future – and then adjusting the company’s capabilities to suit this market.

Michael Eisner, Disney CEO, “it is about creating change before it creates you.”

The Market for care

Tamagotchi’s essential purpose: giving its owner a chance to provide care.

Red Cross: “Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity, and Universality.”

A successful , humanitarian organization, Red Cross is built around a simple principle: the firm belief that human beings are willing to provide care for those in distress, and that such care will be provided on a volunteer basis, without expectation of anything material in return.

The health care market will change according to the logic of the Dream Society for the main reason of balancing mind and body. The importance of the mind in relation to state of health is not only expounded in books and periodicals about health; within the orthodox world of medicine there is a recognition of the “active placebo response.”

Life’s two fundamental questions: Why were we put on earth? What happens when we die?

4. The Who-Am-I Market

What kind of an exciting person am I, what are my esteemed values, which stories am I able to tell? Whom do I associate with, whom am I very different from? The answers to these questions are found in the products and services I choose to buy. That is why I belong to the who-am-I market. The products with which we surround ourselves are increasingly becoming a way in which we stage ourselves. The market has acquired a new dimension that will gradually become the most important one – both in the eyes of the consumer and as reflected in company sales.

In the days of old, poverty was synonymous with material poverty.

In the who-am-I market you are poor if you cannot afford to buy the stories you want for staging yourself, if you are forced to wear clothes that send messages you do not identify with. The affluent in the Dream Society can afford to tell exactly the story about themselves that they want to tell.

Marketing is the key factor in the Who-am-I market.  The story must be effectively told to the market if the consumers are to buy it. Storytelling has become an important part of strategy; whoever tells the best story, and whoever tells it the best, will win.

The Gucci motto is: “Stay small to remain great”. Gucci is a story about style and luxury and would consequently lose its meanign if too many consumers had the opportunity to buy into the story.

“The future always arrives when good-byes are being said.”

5. The Market for Peace of Mind

“(…) banks will rebuild branch offices to look the way they did 100 years ago: with wood paneling, green lamps, and lots of paper. Computers will be hidden behind dark wood and there will be no chains on the ballpoint pens (trust the customers!). (…) Not that this means technology will vanish; on the contrary, it just means that technology has taken a back seat to the emotional appeal.”

In the consultancy market, trust is essential; payment is agreed upon before the “goods” are delivered. The customer needs to trust the consultancy firm. The old-fashioned business meeting that complete with handshake, social conversation, coffee, and refreshments will never go out of style. This entire ritual, which is quite time-consuming, is necessary for building trust. The business-to-business market is not significantly different from the consumer market. We are all both consumers and employees.


The human beings have a safety zone of a little more than  one yard. Cars are an emotional thing on many levels, they extend the safety zone and allow people to move around while maintaining their safety and comfort zone.


6. The Market for Convictions

“(…) in households with incomes above 50.000 USD, the percentage of consumers willing to switch brands because a company was associated with a cause they supported was 82%.”

Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”



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