My Grandad was a coal miner, he became an ‘emergency rescue miner’ (went down the pit when it collapsed), my mum and nan were both care workers in psychiatric hospitals and my dad spent 45 years as a printer breathing chemicals everyday in his dark room. All these professions had their rewards, of course they did, but were undeniably ‘hard’. Given this, and the stories the Moss girls have heard over the years (told, re-told and told again) you would have thought that the alternative modern joy of commerce in todays’ world would seem like something wonderful, exciting and entertaining.
But no. Both gave up business at GCSE.
Business needs a brand overhaul. It is described by many young people I know as at best, boring and unfulfilling and at worse, evil, self-serving, uncaring. What’s going on? Why is this generation of young people falling out of love with business. Finding the answer of course is critically important to the success of business which craves creative minds, out of the box thinking, analysts, inspiring, zestful youth to keep it inventive, forward thinking. I have got 4 hunches that might be worth further investigation. It’s just a Moose theory.
What’s gone wrong?
The way it is taught
Oh boy. I couldn’t believe some of the nonsense the Moose girls told me they were learning in business lessons but I will skip by that and jump straight to the way it was taught. My Children dreaded the course more than Religious studies. The teacher was ridiculed, the way they presented the knackered old examples without verve or sense of adventure killed any interest and it was not a surprise that despite my best efforts they cut business from their list of GCSEs as soon as they could.
What Politicians Say
Easy target for most things I know but they seem apologetic about business, afraid to talk about the good it does and I don’t just mean the community work, charity and general contribution that many businesses make outside of doing business but also the fabulously exciting jobs and communities businesses create, the lifelong friendships they form, the emotional benefits and fulfilment. Politicians don’t want to be seen as supporting business as this, they think, will be seen as siding with the devil and would therefore be a vote loser yet they have a duty to build up business, the country needs a thriving, cutting edge private sector and its image will be key to attracting the best talent.
This one winds me up. The BBC seem to have an agenda. I am not talking about the serious business commentators but the more general radio presenters and reporters. They don’t ‘get’ business. If you don’t believe me listen to their language, there is an undercurrent of sheer hatred. The BBC is also accountable for appalling shows like the Apprentice. Good telly, they reckon, but it shows business in a very bad light. Alan Sugar as a beacon for business……grrrrrr. Business is fabulously storied, brilliant drama and, guess what, the business person is not always the villain.
Come on business, wake up. Do a branding job on yourselves. Come out and start fighting. Business can be brilliant. It’s exciting, constantly changing, driving change, bringing people together across boarders, religions and beliefs. It creates great memories for customers, improves lives and is, when its done well, great fun. Perhaps Business needs an PR agency to pull everything together, give it focus , align behind a vision. Where have we heard that before.
Re-branding Business: The Joy of Commerce
Gary is the chairman and one of the original founders of Brand Vista. With over 20 years of brand experience both on the client and agency side he loves finding out what customers and consumers are really thinking and turning this knowledge into compelling brand propositions that succeed in the real world.
Find out more about Gary