It is amazing how quickly you settle into a new morning routine especially when it is one dictated by a lower frequency, scheduled mode of transport. A few minutes late for the bus or subway – fine I’ll get the next one. With a train (or plane – one of my colleagues has a friend who is commuting ,albeit weekly to Milan from London) it’s a bit more challenging.
But this morning I had to break my new routine to attend a breakfast meeting in the City of London. (Interesting thing about breakfast meetings is that I always like to ensure I am going to be on time so invariably I arrive at the locale too early and end up going for a first breakfast to ‘tide me over’ not sure that is how it is supposed to work !).
However, I really enjoy mingling with a different set of commuters – once you fall into lockstep with their movements and don’t get in the way ! It’s like an anthropological study (my friend J who studied that very subject would be in his element); people dress differently, read differently and have a very different demeanour. In this case I suppose amplified by the fact that on a daily basis they are beholden to the swings and roundabouts of the market. The people who interact with them are different too. The Starbucks Barristas reflect the higher energy – no languid Notting Hill pace here.
It’s a stimulating study for those of us who are involved in marketing. Changing our frame of reference on a daily basis is critical if we are to avoid a disconnect with our audience. Let’s be honest there is only so much you can learn from syndicated research, the latest agency presentation or sitting behind a one way window.
You just have to get out there and observe and interact.