The Dream Society by Rolf Jensen, published by McGraw-Hill ISBN 0070329672

This book suffers from two problems. First, it is written by a self-proclaimed "Futurist", and second, it talks about a "dream society".

This US book manages to combine connotations of cults with visions of new age mystics. A tad harsh maybe, but that is the culture we live in and it is that culture that the book addresses.

Jensen claims the Information Society is passing and the new Dream Society is being born. This society is one where stories and emotional involvement are important and consumers make life choices, purchasing decisions and relationships in the marketplace based on qualitative factors.

Jensen tells stories ranging from Nike and the Brazilian football team and the continuing magnetism of Humphrey Bogart to the growth in the popularity of the free-range egg.

The Director of the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies argues that companies need to look at the stories they tell about themselves, their products and services and what they stand for. Punters, he argues, are willing to pay for good stories.

Marketing of course is all about storytelling. Marketers gather their audience around the company fireside and tell them tales of their products and services. Jensen argues that companies that plough resources into bombarding customers with information rather than playing to this fundamental cultural practice will lose out as our culture shifts away from a dependence or a willingness to be determined by information.

If you can get past the pseudo anthropology and the overblown predictions there is a real wake-up call here. Whether we face a Copernican revolution or not, a realisation that what we say, how we say it and the relationships we develop in saying it, is something all marketers should keep dreaming about.