Complicated Lives: The Malaise of Modernity

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Steadily rising affluence and greater freedom have brought us more choices, more opportunities, and richer lifestyles than ever before.

However, here is the 'paradox of progress' – that our expectations are greater than ever, that there is never enough time, and that the great majority of us are suffering from 'choice overload'. Life often feels too hectic, too pressured – too complicated.

Would we really want to turn back the clock to simpler times? Absolutely not – today’s consumers are richer, healthier, safer and have more freedom than any before them. But to reap the benefitsof progress, consumers need help to cope with the complexities they face. This is the key problem in the lives of the affluent majority, and a prime opportunity for business in the 21st century.

In a book as useful to consumers as it is to business strategists, Willmott and Nelson present in-depth analysis of the complexities of modern consumers’ lives, and provide innovative and practical responses for business and marketing strategy

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About the author (2003)

Michael Willmott is co-founder of the Future Foundation, a consumer think-tank that advises organisations on emerging customer needs. He has 25 years experience as a researcher, analyst and forecaster and is a regular writer, presenter and media commentator on social, economic, political and technological change and its implications for business, government and society. His book Citizen Brands, recently published by John Wiley and Sons, deals with the dynamics of the relationship between companies and society and the implications for branding.

William Nelson is Analysis Manager for nVision, the Future Foundation’s online social and consumer trends and forecasting service. In recent years, he has managed research projects for a number of major clients including a three-year programme of research for retail bank Abbey National on the subject of life’s complications. He is Editor of practioner papers for the Journal of Consumer Behaviour.

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