Flock and Flow

Flock and Flow

Predicting and Managing Change in a Dynamic Marketplace
Grant David McCracken
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/16/2006
Format: Hardback 55 figures
ISBN: 978-0-253-34759-6
Bookmark and Share
Buy from Amazon


Is it possible any longer to "read" markets fast enough to respond to them? A world of discrete parts is now one interconnected web of ceaseless calculation and response. Marketing has become a thing of speed and turbulence, with all the players moving simultaneously.

For marketing guru Grant McCracken, the key to success in this dynamic new marketplace is to find a way to slow the world down. And McCracken believes he has the solution. It begins with understanding the mechanics at work today. He says, "Complexity has a theory. Commotion has a pattern. Dynamism has a system. We can continue to live by damage control, or we can change the way we play the game." To survive our own world of collision and speed, marketers need to see the world as "flocks and flows."

In this exciting new book, McCracken deploys "complex adaptive theory" to track the movement of trends and new groupings of consumers. He shows how to monitor new trends, whether and when to introduce new brands and brand extensions, how to speak to niche markets, and how to avoid costly mistakes. McCracken’s sage and witty advice could not come at a better time. His book will be a valuable aid for anyone trying to keep up with marketplace changes in our rapidly evolving world.

Author Bio

Grant McCracken has been the director of the Institute of Contemporary Culture and a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School. Now a member of the branding cultures laboratory at MIT, he has authored several books, including Culture and Consumption II (IUP, 2005), Big Hair (1996), Culture and Consumption (IUP, 1990), and Transformation (IUP, forthcoming). He has been a consultant for many corporations, including the Coca-Cola Company, IKEA, Chrysler, Kraft, and Kimberly Clark. He lives in Rowayton, Connecticut.


“McCracken’s sage and witty advice could not come at a better time. Flock and Flow will be a valuable aid for anyone trying to keep up with marketplace changes in our rapidly evolving world.”

“..Grant McCracken understands as few people do why the markets of today and tomorrow are nothing like the markets in which today's leaders grew up. His book is a profound but entertaining guide to the cultural and technological currents that future strategy will have to navigate. It shows us the patterns that lie behind the turbulence of contemporary consumer markets.”
 — John Deighton, Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

“The author attempts to clarify the strategies and goals corporations should employ to market their products using the latest trends. Examples from diverse industries and numerous photos enhance this volume. . . . Recommended. ”
 — Choice

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

Introduction: More Like Marshall
Part 1. Consumers in a Dynamic Marketplace
1. In the Flock and Flow
2. Flock and Flow: Early Systems
Part 2. Flock and Flow: The Micro Model
3. Flows
4. Flocks
Part 3. Flock and Flow: The Macro Model
5. The Brand
6. The Consumer
7. The Corporation
Part 4. Flock and Flow: How to Build a System
8. Seventeen Steps in the Flock and Flow System
9. Six Marketing Strategies

Appendix: Where This Book Sits on the Management/Marketing Map