4 reasons business is about JOMO not FOMO

Every year at MullenLowe salt, we support premium spirits company, William Grant & Sons UK with the launch of their Market Report – an in-depth review of the drinks industry and key consumer trends. This year, we talked about the rise of JOMO – the ‘joy of missing out’ – which is our desire to find balance in an increasingly fast-paced world that has been FOMO-focussed for too long.

JOMO is certainly becoming apparent in my personal life. A friend recently deleted her Instagram and is focussing on a new mantra of ‘you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with so choose wisely’, and I’m spending my summer ‘staycation’ in a London spa, not on a Mediterranean beach with a side of Insta-spam.

But JOMO isn’t just an antidote to a ‘work-hard-play-harder’ lifestyle, it can be applied to business too. Sure, in business, less is rarely seen as more – more work, more customers and more clients equal growth, correct? At MullenLowe salt, we’re starting to realise this isn’t exactly true for four reasons

  1. Joy of missing out on consumers

Brands can’t be the popular kid who fits in any more. Some of the most successful brands are taking polarised human positions, like Patagonia, whose Founder Yvon Chouinard said “If you’re not p*ssing off 50% of people, you’re not trying hard enough.” Taking polarising positions may alienate some people, but your core fan base will become more loyal.

Take Barry’s Bootcamp for example, their marketing is almost intimidating with an abs fuelled Instagram and fitness packages such as ‘hell week’. It’s far from the fitness industry’s standard ‘If I can do it, you can too’ approach; but this is how they’ve built their cult following. I’m not one of them, but I would recommend Barry’s to someone who could handle it.

Key take out: Being clear on your values and then living and breathing them not only increases relevance and loyalty with your core fan base, but it wins respect from others.

  1. Joy of missing out on campaigns

Global oil and gas giant BP announced earlier this year that after an agency review, they had decided to stick with their long-term partner WPP. So what did WPP do to reignite the honeymoon phase? They launched a dedicated BP unit called ‘Team Energy’ to provide the brand with services including advertising, digital, media buying, public relations and brand research – drawing talent from a range of WPP agencies – and basing this hybrid team in London. Essentially, BP now have all their marketing functions sitting closely together, which has streamlined their agency roster. With an increasingly connected digital world, channel specialists can no longer work in silo. Without a fully integrated group of cross-discipline specialists working as one team, brands run the risk of activating multiple, disparate campaigns and spending more money for less impact with their target audience.

Since joining MullenLowe Group, we’re experiencing the joy of our hyperbundled structure. We too have all marketing disciplines under one roof, we maximise the brand, not the channel, offering our clients a full, efficient service aligned to one big channel-neutral ‘organising idea’.

Key take out: Maximise the brand, not the channel.

  1. Joy of missing out on clients

As a B-Corporation, at MullenLowe salt we are selective about the clients we work with and believe in only partnering with organisations who match our values and passions. Our purpose is to create positive change through communications – it is what we do on a daily basis for our clients and why we choose to work here. Our purpose acts as our filter for everything that we do. It means that we consider the impact of our decisions on our staff, clients, suppliers, community and the environment. Sometimes this means that we have to say no to briefs, clients or prospects, but that’s okay, we’ve all agreed that we won’t succumb to FOMO.

Key take out: Fewer, more meaningful and authentic relationships make us all richer.

  1. Joy of missing out on hard work

Don’t get me wrong, at MullenLowe salt we definitely subscribe to going ‘above and beyond’ for clients. But in terms of time spent at work, long hours are currently under scrutiny. New Zealand has recently trialled four day work weeks, and work-life balance (how well respondents could manage their work and non-work roles) increased by 24%.

At MullenLowe salt, we believe culture eats strategy for breakfast. This is perhaps why we’ve won the Holmes Report award for ‘Best Agency to Work For’, twice. We’re also bringing our purpose to life for our employees through a social mission promoting good mental health at work, an issue close to our hearts. An organisation with happy employees and a clear purpose is much more productive. As the Harvard Business Review put it recently “People who find meaning in their work don’t hoard their energy and dedication”.

Key take out: Stepping out from the whirlwind, and aligning all workloads to a higher purpose makes us ultimately more productive.

In summary, at MullenLowe, we’re all about channelling JOMO, with our clients, our employees, and the way we do business. So step out of the whirlwind and focus on what really matters.