As mentioned in Newsletter #31, my latest book, "Brand Shift: The Future of Brands and Marketing" has just been published. Written with brand and marketing research guru Owen Shapiro, this book is a high level look at the past, present and most extensively into the future of brands.
The book has been out almost two months and has found great receptivity both with professional marketers and the buying public. We were thrilled to learn that "Brand Shift" recently became an Amazon top ten best seller in the category of Media & Communications!
Market validation is always great but it has been gratifying to hear from people directly that they really enjoyed the book, thought it one of the best I have written and that it is making them think about brands and marketing in a new light.
Owen and I intentionally wrote a book that was high level yet comprehensive. At 131 pages it is a short book and a fast read. There are way too many business-oriented books that get bogged down in repetitive case studies or redundant statements of the underlying premise. I have constantly heard this complaint from people about business books. We decided to be laser focused on the major trends that are and will affect the marketing of brands, and then to suggest the ways that these trends will significantly alter how we market brands going forward.
If you would like to learn more about the book and read some of the content for free you can go to the book's web site www.brandshiftbook.com. We have priced the book to sell and for a limited time have made it available as an eBook for only $2.99. Whether you want to read the book in print or digital form you can click on the book icon to the right and purchase immediately.
As many of you who have read my writings over the years know, I have written quite a bit about energy, sources of energy and the price of oil. In fact one of the first forecasts that gave me widespread recognition was made in April 2006 when I suggested that by 2008 the price of oil would top $125 a barrel. At the time oil was in the $50-55 range and my forecast was ridiculed.
[This, along with a forecast in the fall of 2007 that Barack Obama would be the next president- another ridiculed forecast - has given me a odd sense at time of living a dèjà vu life. As in, when something happens that I had forecast, I have already been living with that reality in my mind for a while.]
I had based that oil price forecast in part on a belief that humanity was indeed passing through peak oil, that geopolitics would affect price and that the explosive growth of China and other emerging economically growing nation states would press hard on the demand side. Ever since, I have been correct through the end of 2013 about the price range of oil being consistently between $90-120 barrel. Only once or twice did the price dip below $90 and that was for short periods of time.
Well, today we may well be seeing the beginning of a new era of energy. Clearly the dramatic increase in oil production in the United States has been a major factor on the current downward spiral in oil prices. Combined with Saudi Arabia wanting to maintain its global market share and a new level of disagreement amongst the OPEC members, along with a no growth Euro zone and a slowing of growth in China and the reality of these lower oil prices today is understood. However I think that this current market condition may in fact be ushering in a new global era of energy and energy costs that could become the new landscape in the years ahead.
In the past eight years solar energy has moved out of its initial phase into a more mature, much lower cost phase. The same is true for wind energy. During this same time there has been a dramatic increase in miles per gallon efficiency in new automobiles. The Great Recession created habits of thrift and conservation that have stayed in place. Public transportation in the United States and other developed countries has seen levels of passengers not seen in decades. The cause and effect connection between the burning of fossil fuels and extreme weather and climate change is being more widely understood and accepted. All of these different points may be suggesting that we are entering a less volatile time of gradually lowering global energy costs.
As those of you who are regular readers of my blog know, I have been thinking and writing about the beginning of the second stage of the global economy. If you haven't read those columns you can click on the links to the right and read those three columns.
It could well be that a defining part of at least the beginning of this new second stage of the global economy will be an ongoing recasting of the global energy landscape. One with expectations of gradually lowering costs.
I am sure I will revisit this topic in future Newsletters.