How the ‘cocoon’ concept helped me build a successful business model…

How the ‘cocoon’ concept helped me build a successful business model…

by Lesley Graham

Some time ago, one of my students pointed out how similar distance education was to the idea of studying from within a cocoon.

I did some research on the ‘cocoon’ concept and discovered that the term was coined and popularised in the 1990s by Faith Popcorn (aka Faith Plotkin); best-selling author, consumer trend expert and marketing consultant.

Years ahead of her time, she predicted future consumer behaviour by recognizing emerging trends; describing people protecting themselves from the outside world by walking or exercising with earphones, screening calls and using online shopping, along with other ‘stay at home’ commodities. She foresaw the trend that sees individuals socializing less and creating a safe place around them by retreating into their home more.

Technology has made cocooning easier than ever before. The telephone and the Internet are inventions that made possible a kind of socialized cocooning in which one can live in physical isolation while maintaining contact with others through telecommunication.

I also came across a book on network marketing written by Richard Baker and Dr Dale Gerke which made the comment:


... don’t expect the consumers to come to you anymore.

You’ll have to reach them in the cocoon itself.

- Faith Popcorn


These observations formed the basis for my business - Lesley Graham Training and Consulting - for the next 15 years.

Ill health forced me into retirement recently, although I am still available in a consulting role. I have handed the business over to my brother Peter, who is well qualified and continues to maintain our reputation for a very high completion rate of over 85% and excellent student satisfaction.