Getting to Yes, And

Marcus Collins: For the Culture


Marcus Collins

Subscribe on

Kelly speaks to Marcus Collins, head of strategy at Wieden+Kennedy and assistant professor at The Ross School of Business, University of Michigan to discuss his book: “For The Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, And Who We Want To Be."

Why is culture so important?

“There's no external force more influential to human behavior then culture. And the better we understand it, and the mechanisms that make up culture, the more likely we are to navigate it, and perhaps even leverage its power to get people to adopt behavior which is super powerful if you are invested in getting people to move.”

So, specifically how does culture move people?

"Our behaviors are influenced by culture. What we buy, where we go, what we do, how we dress, where we marry, if we marry, who we marry, where we go to school, if we go to school, how we bury the dead, if we bury the dead, where we vacation, where we eat: all these things are by products of our cultural subscription on the basis of a simple question, ‘Do people like me do something like this?’ The answer is, ‘Yes, I do this,’ or the answer is, ‘No, I don't;’ and hundreds or thousands of our decisions are made through that rubric.”

You also talk about how current generations have increasingly You posit that comedians are great marketers, why?

“I tell my clients and my students and my team this - that the best market researchers on the planet are comedians full stop. They are amazing. You all are amazing. You essentially observe human behavior: You go ‘Whoa! That was weird.’ You just look at people, go ‘Huh! That was peculiar. Now he did it. She did it, and they did it. They're doing it.’ Okay, this is a thing which essentially, as a researcher, as a scholar, you are now bounding social phenomena. This is the thing it's happening. Comedians ask, ‘Why is this happening?’ Essentially it is applying theory to the social phenomenon. You just observe and this is what scholars do. This is why I do my scholarly research: observe a phenomenon and figure out what is the underlying physics that's informing this thing.”

Related Episodes