A few weeks ago I listened to an edition of the Cracked podcast, where the topic was summer.
In an astute observation, they point out that ‘summer’ as we know it today, with school breaks, summer holidays and holiday resorts is a very modern phenomenon.
According to the podcast, the reason we have a school summer break at all is because at some point in recent history, schools just couldn’t get kids to attend in summer. Especially in agricultural areas, kids would be away working in the fields.
(After all… that was why you had kids, right?)
So schools basically gave up and closed for summer. Slowly, summer has transformed into a time where we have to take holidays, or ‘go away’. Where we have to be out doing stuff. A huge and very lucrative entertainment industry has cropped up, specifically to cater to this.
(Before the mid 19th Century, you only ‘went away’ if you were in deep, deep trouble!)
I’m not passing judgement on this change (or I hope I’m not). But I always like insights that bring basic assumptions about ‘how things are’ into question.
If you’re communicating with your customers on a long term basis, this is the highest objective of your communications. To change or upgrade someone’s level of understanding about what you do. To do that, you need to tease widespread industry assumptions out into the open.
Do you think you can do that? It’s the more scary path. It’s not what you’re ‘supposed’ to do. (You’re supposed to tow the line, and write about benefits).
But it’s the only way to stand out, and it’s more rewarding.