The world is an increasingly complex place. Traditional institutions designed to hold together society have lost the authority they once had. Public trust in government, the financial sector and brands is at an all-time low. Racial division, climate change, inequality and terrorism dominate headlines.
Whereas major organisations have traditionally sought to inject some political balance into their public statements and engagement, there is little downside from ignoring, or slapping down, a weak and unelectable political force. That's clearly the Virgin Trains and G4S calculation in the UK - neither company is ever going to be regulated by a Corbyn government. Whether Donald Trump will ever be in a position to knock down Skittles is another question.
In the words of The Police, I currently feel like saying to all brands targeting the over 50s: "Don't Stand So Close To Me." I'd be more than happy to be "Wrapped Around Your Finger" - but you have to earn that interest and loyalty, and to do that you have to recognise that what matters to today's 50-year-old is quite different to previous generations.
It has never been easier to connect brands with audiences, particularly with the integration of technology in everyday life. Digital innovations offer more opportunities to engage and fully immerse people in experiences, and this year's Olympics will be no exception. Brands are embracing the latest technology and adapting to a changing world of innovations to reach their consumers and enhance their experiences, whether they are in Rio or watching from home.
One winter's day in 1961, Professor Edward Lorenz - one of the first meteorologists to use computer-based prediction - decided to run a weather simulation in his MIT lab. He'd run this one before, so he was pretty sure he knew what to expect. But on this occasion, to save time, he inputted the data using three decimals places, rather than six as he had used originally. So, for example, 23.348 rather than 23.347813: a difference of just 0.000187.
Decades of experience and leadership is not enough today to engender trust in a brand. People are looking for honesty and transparency from brands. With information and opinion only a click away it is much easier for consumers to feel that the wool is being pulled over their eyes. McDonalds acknowledged this and success has come their way.
Traditional gender roles will play a less prominent role in the lives of consumers over the next ten years, according to predictions made in a recent study. Food and beverage market research firm Canadean's findings suggest that the millennial market is nowhere near as concerned as previous generations with fixed notions of gender or sexuality.