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The Only Thing Marketers Have to Fear Is Fear of Change

J. Walker Smith

Brands must embrace evolution to keep up with consumers who deplore the status quo and are seeking radical solutions

This political season has pried open a Pandora’s box of rancor, resentment and unrest. Across the ideological spectrum, people are defying institutions and incumbents in favor of outsiders promising to remake things from the ground up. People want something different.

Typically, when the public mood is this agitated it is because of upheaval or disruption, but that is not the case today. Nowadays, people are not worried about change. They are worried about no change. They are worried about stagnancy. People have lost confidence in the future. 

People are recoiling from, and in some cases revolting against, being trapped in a trajectory of decline from which they feel there is no escape. The only way people see to break out of this trajectory is to pursue a radical shift in course.

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J. Walker Smith is chief knowledge officer for brand and marketing at Kantar Consulting and co-author of four books, including Rocking the Ages. Follow him on Twitter at @jwalkersmith.​