Thinkers50@BUQuestrom: Passion & Purpose | Marcus Collins: The curious case of cultural consumption

What drives the work of the world’s leading management thinkers?
That was the question posed at Thinkers50@BUQuestrom: Passion & Purpose, a live virtual event held at Boston University Questrom School of Business on 20th April 2023.

Co-sponsored by Thinkers50, Passion & Purpose sought to uncover the motivation behind top management thinkers: What inspires their research? What gets them out of bed in the morning? How do they translate their passions into purpose and impact for business?
To challenge the thinkers a little further, each one had just 15 minutes to deliver their idea – including questions from the audience.

Passionate brand strategist Marcus Collins focused on the curious case of cultural consumption.

Consumption, Collins contended, has very little to do with functional and utilitarian benefit but more to do with psychological and social needs. Culture is the big influencer of human behaviour; we consume because of who we are, not because of what things are. And to become more aware of the cultural factors affecting us, we need to think like comedians. Comedians, Collins explained, observe and watch people to discover something they did not expect.


Marcus Collins is the Chief Strategy Officer at Wieden+Kennedy New York, and Marketing Professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. A member of the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2023, he is also the author of For the Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, And Who We Want To Be (Public Affairs 2023).

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