The day has finally arrived when Kanye West announced that he'd be running for President of the United States. His wife, Kim Kardashian, and entrepreneur, Elon Musk, offered their support.
"We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future," he tweeted. "I am running for president of the United States!"
But don't roll your eyes just yet.
I know Kanye doesn't have a JD from Yale law school, and we’ve heard his desire to run for President before. But in case you haven't noticed, today we live in a different world with different rules. I write about these rules in my book, The Kim Kardashian Principle, and speak about them worldwide.
Here's why I think it's essential to open our minds and beneficial for us all to embrace a bit of Kanye Culture.
Firstly, we need to create environments in which people can think without boundaries.
Many of us would agree that innovation is a brand's lifeline. So, it's safe to say that some rules were meant to be broken. And new rules were meant to be made.
Part of that is getting employees to really think. Out of the box, out of the hat, out of the park, out of the whatever. And I'm not just talking about your tried and tested 'brainstorming' sessions - which mainly serve for memory dumping.
Research shows that absurd ideas come more from the left brain. Shallow ideas originate from the right brain. Funny ideas occur when you get the left and right hemispheres of the brain to work together to create a fun experience. And the extent of innovation increases when you move from generating good to funny ideas.
Secondly, brands need to create an experience for their audience.
If Kanye's run for President is anything, it's an ongoing experience.
In 2016, I spoke to Adam Bolton on Sky News about the fact that the first thing trending on Twitter after Trump was elected was #Kanye2020.
From the rumors to the official announcement on Twitter and the resulting social media meltdown that is happening right now, Kanye's run for President has been in the making for the past four years.
So why do I think these experiences are so powerful?
Because they're fun, they involve meeting new people, deepening existing relationships, and sharing stories.
Research shows that experiences make people happier than things. Isn't that what differentiates Apple from its competitors? It's not so much the functionality of the product, but the overall experience the brand delivers. Apple innovates to create a unique, feel-good experience for its audience. And both Millennials and Generation Z are known to value experiences over possessions.
Thirdly, we need to be unafraid.
Those of you familiar with my work know that I speak a lot about the need to be fearless and unashamed. And, these traits couldn't be more powerful drivers of innovation today. The fear of being laughed at, shamed, or looking like a fool restricts our ability to innovate. So we need to create spaces that allow people to do precisely that - look like a fool.
Last but not least, I believe that brands mustn't lose their sense of humor.
Kanye certainly hasn't.
Many of us are inundated with negative news, and we need to escape. That's why memes, shows like SNL, Fallon, and Degeneres continue to go viral on social media. It's playful and humorous content. And even during the peak of the pandemic, I gave an interview to marketing magazine, The Drum and wrote about the need for brands need to keep their sense of humor.
It's important for brands not to shut down but embrace more thinkers like Kanye. By introducing a bit of Kanye Culture into their organizations.
So the next time you roll your eyes at the thought of Kanye becoming President, remember, people, are usually their most innovative when they drink alcohol or dance when nobody's watching.