What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
With rendition switcher


Question: What does a consumer gain by being aware of branding?

Lucas Conley: For me it’s to understand that brands are trying to build a lifestyle for you. They want you to buy in to a lifestyle. My favorite example of this is one of the most ridiculous, which is NASCAR. Here is this-- It’s somewhat legitimate ‘cause here is an actual sport behind this brand. There’s actually a product that people can get. It’s new. It’s got a lot of different angles to it but NASCAR sells romance novels. NASCAR sells packaged meats. NASCAR is this massive lifestyle brand that wants to find all kinds of touch points to draw you further in to the NASCAR lifestyle. So from a consumer perspective what brands do you like? How are they drawing you in so that you spend more of your money with them? Is it Apple? Would you buy an Apple product even if it wasn’t as good as something else? Is it a certain brand of clothing? Thomas Pink makes great shirts but they also spray a certain linen scent into every one of their stores. Why not just let the linen smell like linen? There’s certain marketing tacks that these brands use to try and generate a feel, a sensory feel, a psychological feel, of belonging and community and ritual and that’s- for the consumer it’s that kind of sense of community that brands are after with lifestyle pitches, with that feel of being part of a community around a brand. Apple’s another good example, NASCAR, these communities that bubble up around popular brands. Then they try and capture that and then sell you more products, NASCAR meat.

Recorded 7/23/08




How To Tell You Are Being N...

Newsletter: Share: