Learn to think like an anthropologist
Apply the consumer-led lens to your business. Microcultures, our most recent book, is about innovation. More specifically, it’s about a proven framework and process that can significantly improve the impact of an organization’s innovation efforts. Interestingly, this framework which we call Microcultures, is built entirely on the foundations of cultural anthropology and sociology. In fact, it borrows from the work of incredible academics, who have systematically created the methods and structures with which we can understand why people make the decisions they make, and perhaps even more importantly, why they choose to justify those decisions in a certain way. Through the process of reading Microcultures, you’ll walk away with an understanding and appreciation for the field of cultural anthropology and sociology. You’ll learn about some concepts that are fundamental to your ability to see issues, topics, trends and ideas through a truly consumer-led lens. For example, a concept like Symbolic Capital helps us understand the ways in which our consumers take the things they buy and the reasons for doing so and convert them into forms of currency. One that can be exchanged in social settings to create friendships, drive status and even an unspoken social hierarchy. These concepts, that are fundamental to the fields cultural anthropology and sociology, are also critical to the framework of microcultures because they help us understand why our modern markets behave the way they do. They help us make sense of trends through the lens of the many forms of symbolic capital that struggle for power and leadership, thereby enabling a truly consumer-led understanding of these trends. Critically, they help us recognize that culture is in fact diversifying (and not homogenizing), meaning that the fragmentation of markets is really a function of the fragmentation of culture itself — i.e. the emergence of hundreds of new forms of symbolic capital that govern why people make decisions and increasingly choose niche products. This book is the culmination of more than a decade of work we’ve completed in the application of cultural anthropology to the world of big data and internet-mediated cultures. We are immensely proud of this book because we know the impact microcultures has had on the clients we work with. We hope you’ll experience the same impact by applying these concepts in your day to day to drive better innovation outcomes for your organizations.