Pulp and Paper Canada

The Dream Society —

June 1, 2000  By Pulp & Paper Canada

Ed note: Pulp & Paper Canada is pleased to introduce FutureViews.net by Alan Procter, a column that will be devoted to the field of Future Awareness and its implications for the industry. The mission …

Ed note: Pulp & Paper Canada is pleased to introduce FutureViews.net by Alan Procter, a column that will be devoted to the field of Future Awareness and its implications for the industry. The mission will be to promote strategic future perspectives for the industry. Issues to be discussed include: scenarios for the future of paper, e-commerce and paper products, barriers to creativity, trends to watch, advertising and paper (the unfolding scenario with the Internet) and, why people like paper (new attributes for a competitive edge). Alan Procter has over 30 years experience in the industry, most of which was spent with MacMillan Bloedel Research. He is an adjunct professor, technology management at the University of British Columbia and president of Alan Procter Consulting. He is the developer of an Internet-based professional/executive course: Managing technology for value delivery. He is based in West Vancouver, BC, and can be reached at a.r._procter@telus.net

The Information Society is gradually displacing the Industrial Society; but what comes next? The answer is The Dream Society. It is starting now and signals a new logic for both society and the market place. In the Dream Society “emotions and the heart” are the market; products and services are sold with a “Story” that appeals to this market. The paper and forest products industry currently has a “story vacuum” and


needs to address this void in order to tap into this high-growth market opportunity (according to a study by Rolf Jensen at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies).

How these societies have influenced the work force reveals some intriguing trends. The largest employment growth sectors are in Emotions and in Caring; Knowledge work is beginning to decline and the Industry (manufacturing) sector is declining big-time, as we all know.

These trends are a consequence of machines filling ever more jobs in society. The Internet is just the most recent big example!

Why do people spend more money for the Swatch watch, the Nike shoe, or free-range eggs? It is the “Story” behind these products that the consumer is really buying — in the latter case, the story of “happy chickens.” There are six categories for the Dream Society emotional market — each with their own story strategy.

The Marlboro story is interesting. Here we have an icon for a health-destroying product being transformed into a story of adventure in Montana, wide-open spaces, and cowboys. This story goes over big in Europe, where the Marlboro story sells vacations, designer clothes and adventure. More and more, a company’s story represents its most important asset — it is its “gene code.” There are over 3000 story-owning companies globally, and they can move the story to different products. Below this level are 100 000 manufacturers competing for orders from the story-owning companies. In the Dream Society, the best story wins!

This brings us to the question: What should be the story of the forest products industry, or the story for your own particular product or service? The conviction market may be the place to start.

The Dream Society is an unfolding scenario for the future. If you accept this, then it represents both a threat and an opportunity for a new business paradigm.

Why is this important?

The Dream Society scenario is important because it represents an opportunity for the forest products industry to find a new competitive attribute paradigm. Without addressing society’s growing need for a “story,” we risk the probability that the story-vacuum will be filled with a story we would rather our customers didn’t hear — such as the “old growth forest” or the “toxic contaminants” stories. If Marlboro can do it, we, as the producers of high-quality forest products, can also. The value of the emotion market (e.g., products such as those mentioned in the accompanying table) is increasing by 2.3% per year per person, according to the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies. There is also a world market of one billion souls that has a high purchasing power per person (North America, Europe, Japan, Korea).


Where did the trees grow? Who owned them?

The history and tradition of the (old) paper mill

The 1000-year-old product from China.

How paper has promoted literacy and communication.

How packaging has protected our food.

How building products give us safe and affordable homes.

Recycled fibre and its history.

The tree that gives (a childhood story).

Society Time frame Themes and values Dominant person
Hunter-Gatherer Pre-8000 BC Survival/hand-to-mouth Hunter (spirits/tribe)
Agricultural ~8000 BC Food/sustenance Farmer (know-how/family)
Industrial ~1800 Goods/hard wealth CEO (money/hierarchical)
Information ~1970 Services/intellectual wealth Programmer (knowledge/team)
Dream Now Emotions/community Story-teller (experience/ tribe)
The first post-materialistic era the beginning of something new
Nov 99 The Dream Society, Rolf Jensen

The market for Adventures: create a story behind the product and nurture to become
the company’s greatest asset Marlboro
The market for Friendship, Happiness and Togetherness: gifts, restaurants, entertainment, coffee Guiness, Disney
The market for Care: children and pets, Tamagotchi Red Cross, Toys
The Who-Am-I market: fashion, autos, accessories, bird-friendly coffee Ralph Lauren, Harley Davidson
The Peace of Mind market: nostalgia, history, antiques, safety and security VW Bug, Restoration Hardware
The Conviction market: green products, humane testing, worker welfare Groceries, Wood Products

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