The first feeling you get in America, when you come from an African/ European background is: Corporate America.
Even-though, It’s my third time to come to America, this time I have a more mature understanding of many aspects of people’s life. After having seen Time Square, Leicester Square and now Yonge-Dundas Square I started to ask myself:
"What about the people of those cities? Where can I see their experience?"
In a world divided between Lovemarks and NoLogo, where is the authentic voice, face and story of THE individual?
Of course companies are not selfish colonial-empires as those familiar to us from distant past, but their expansion and loud presence does not differentiate from kingdoms and the like.
If you would visualize the influence corporations have compared to single individuals on the life-style of the city, you would instantly realize that the citizens are exposed to the interest of large corporations. This is more true in America than in Europe and less true in Africa of course, where non-commercial culture plays a massive role.
Since I am also in the ‘business’ of growing a brand and expanding it to every corner of the world, I must admit, this extreme exposer of companies is a warning signal for me. It tells me to celebrate and put more focus on the ‘human-experience’ and not the brand itself (corporation).
Part of our startups DNA is to put the focus on the human-experience (it will be reflected by the new symbol that we are currently developing) but in a world dominated by corporations, this alignment can be forgotten easily.
Companies have to radically re-imagine the role they play in people’s life. Since they have the greatest power, they should not abuse it to display humans as exploitable entities but more as a graceful beings who have to be individually celebrated.
If not, people will not be able to experience a life outside of brands and thereby the brands will be the only experience people can make, which is silly.
People like Joe Pine, Rene Schuster have been suggesting a revised corporate model like ours, but their implementation seems to be hindered due to corporations acting in their own self interest only. This has to change.
The greatest challenge for corporations is to create services where their presence and influence can only be perceived by the great experience humans make and cultivate.