Our society has become focused on immediate results and gratification. We know what we want, and we want it now. Instant text messaging. Rapid weight loss. High-speed Internet. So much is “Flash” this and “Quick” that. If you’re the fourth car in line, even fast food isn’t fast enough anymore.
In a day crammed tight with demands and stress, the worst thing that can happen is to be asked to wait. “Please listen to the following menu of choices . . .” “Please hold while our automated operator . . .” Time has become so valuable, even two minutes on hold can be too much for some people.
Patience is a virtue spiraling toward extinction.
It’s understandable given all the pressures we are under. With work, exercise, maintaining a house and yard, paying the bills, shopping, meals and keeping up with family activities, our schedules are overstuffed. Electronics make our lives easier? Right. That’s why you have 718 unread e-mails at home. Rest on the weekends? We’re lucky if we have the opportunity to catch our breath.
And if our own lives weren’t busy enough, look at what our children are doing. They’ve become mini-adults with their days so packed with school, sports, music and dance and other lessons that they need BlackBerries to keep track of their schedules – and an Internet connection so they can e-mail us a copy.
To keep the bullet trains our lives have become securely on track, we have to stay connected – to each other, and to the world around us.
The best designers and marketers know this. They understand how important it is to design “for the now” – not what was last month or last year. It’s on their minds because the same pressures shape their daily lives. They see the whole picture because they’re in it.
And because they are aware, they are willing to dare. Designing for the now means being able to connect a company to its audience and to embrace their immediate needs. It means making them feel welcome, secure, wanted.
Rather than as target audiences or anonymous demographic statistics, skillful designers create campaigns that treat consumers as people. They make a connection between their own intense lives and the lives of their fellow human beings. They build that connection into ideas that sell – and satisfy.
Compelling people to take time out of their hectic days and try something new takes talent. It takes compassion. Empathy. Ideas that strike a chord among wide segments of the population.
It takes the ability to see the world every time you look in the mirror.