A Review of For the Culture, by Marcus Collins

Larry Christopher
6 min readJul 4, 2023
Culture and marketing strategy

Marcus Collins straddles the worlds of marketing and academia, as the head of strategy at Wieden + Kennedy while also a professor of marketing at the University of Michigan. In For The Culture, he shares a combination of scholarship and personal insights based on his experiences.

You can read For The Culture as someone who appreciates marketing as a curious outsider, an actual marketer or entrepreneur who wants to up your game, or even as someone who despises marketing and wants to know how it’s all done. I suppose I possess a little of each of these contradictory tendencies. Collins himself expresses some odd ambivalence about the field, alternately praising its manipulative tendencies and emphasizing the need for ethics.

I recently read an old classic for the first time, Robert Cialdini’s Influence (which he recently updated). Collins quotes and praises Cialdini in this work, while the renowned author (who also kind of combines academic and hands-on marketing) provides generous praise of Collins’ work. Both works mine topics such as social psychology and anthropology to explain how influence and persuasion operate.

Fans and Customers as Tribes and Congregations

Collins, as insightful as he is, doesn’t really question the validity of a world where…