When we consciously try to be unique, we turn out all the same.
Recently, a mathematician managed to come up with an equation explaining why all hipsters turn out looking the same.
“If you take […] any group that decides to go against the majority—by trying to be different, they will ultimately all do the same thing at the same time”
The same goes for brands.
Most conform by trying to be unique.
After all, it’s only human. And brands are supposed to be human, right?
Brands display what American novelist Edith Wharton called “symptom of immaturity” or the “dread of doing what has been done before.”
And in the process they wind up doing the same as everyone else.
Their picture of “new” and “different” is the same – at exactly the same time – as everyone else’s.
Shakespeare said “To thine own self be true”.
To have a self, to which to be true.
Brands struggle to be themselves every day, just like everyone else.
When they find themselves, it’s not uncommon that they come off as genuine as opposed to fake.
And instil an unusual sense of trust and authenticity in others.
They might become leaders in their field if they find some cause really important to them.
Or not. Which is fine.
They might find great success – or not, as their cause might be one that rarely gets much attention.
Which is also fine.
Remember, “success is the completion of anything intended”.
And not everyone intends the same thing – at exactly the same time – as everyone else.
To spot a genius where you work just ask yourself who’s really a pain in the ass to work with. If you know someone, there’s a 99.99% chance it’s just a regular asshole and about a 0.01% chance it’s who you’re looking for.
To fail in advertising is to assume that advertising helps products find audiences, when it actually helps audiences find products.
Advertising helps people find what they are looking for.
If you don’t know what people are looking for, you have to make it seem like they are looking for what you are advertising.
A simple, and wonderfully frank talk by Dave Trott at APG in the UK regarding the art of persuasion.
Everything from freud to Husserl, all mixed in with some football references.
“Never assume an ad will be noticed”
“Behavioural economics is about moving questions upstream enough to find out how we can solve business problems with a really great idea.”
“Insight doesn’t sell, an idea does. An idea based on insight.”
For a longer version –>
We are moving from marketing campaigns well managed to marketing networks well led. The difference being that management, if not paying people money, is powerless at making them do things they don’t want to i.e. contribute, share and spread “the word”. Leadership however rallies people around causes and is all about volition, people working for passionately 24/7, no desk, sick-leave or vacation.
“[In digital branding] see the people of the world as your marketing department working for your brand, for free, but on one condition; that they will not do what you tell them, but only do what they feel like, when they feel like it.”