Chief Culture Officer

Studied art and fashion design at Manchester then Westminster University. In the past 15 years Colin has been part of the buying team at Burberry, an Angel Investor, corporate film and TV producer, and for the last 6 years has run his own digital agency. An online social adoptee from 2005. He’s an exhibited artist.

Am I wrong to be swayed by the thought that large organisations, corporations should employ a CCO or Chief Culture Officer?

The statement goes:

“McCracken (Flock and Flow), a research affiliate at Convergence Culture Consortium at MIT, argues that every company needs a chief cultural officer to anticipate cultural trends rather than passively waiting and reacting. CCOs should have the ability to process massive amounts of data and spot crucial developments among an array of possibilities; they will be able to see the future coming, no matter which industry they serve, and create value for shareholders, move product, create profit and increase the bottom line. McCracken provides an impressive list of individuals deeply connected and in tune with the zeitgeist including Steve Jobs, A.G. Lafley, Mary Minnick, Joss Whedon and Johnny Depp—who fought Disney in order to create a campy male lead in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie—as well as such corporations as Starbucks and Nike that have “refashioned culture.” McCracken’s case is persuasive, and his book, peppered with pop culture references and enlivened by his restlessly inquisitive nature (and ability to strike up conversation with just about anyone), makes for enlightening and entertaining reading.”

The idea being that they don’t jump on the next big thing but look deeper into the impact that it will have on their business and bottom line and assess the best way to apply it.

McCracken has written a book – some of the feedback goes:

“In Chief Culture Officer, Grant McCracken highlights the increasing importance of cultural understanding for brands that wish to remain relevant—and profitable—in the protean flux of the modern marketplace, as he carves out a new role for the 21st century corporation. The best marketers can hope for is to create something that resonates so strongly it becomes part of our cultural fabric. This book is an indispensable tool for achieving that goal.”—Faris Yakob, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Strategist, McCann Erickson New York

“Marketing gets failing grades when it comes to understanding and using culture. In Chief Culture Officer—a delectable cultural soup that is sure to stir your taste buds—Grant McCracken makes a compelling case that culture will be marketing’s next silver bullet. I whole-heartedly endorse his call for bringing culture-thinking into the company.”—Philip Kotler, author of Chaotics: The Business of Managing and Marketing in the Age of Turbulence and Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

In my opinion there is definitely a cultural shift happening in marketing and advertising. Aside from advertising businesses creating products – the trend at the moment is squishy toys and animals, Fox’s Panda – Vinnie, Peter Vardy’s, Aard Vardy, Meerkat… and the assessment of social interaction that builds or adapts a product to make it unique for the consumer.

It’s becoming a much more complex place to be – no longer are the consumers happy with those brands that shout the most and hardest.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.