Tom Asacker quotes Ionesco
“Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.”
and goes on to set some challenging questions for folks (like me) who opine from time-to-time in favour of authenticity in branding. Here’s a taster but read the whole thing if you can find the time.
Marketing experts continue to advise getting rid of the hype and, instead, providing more depth. For example, if you’re running a business event or meeting, give people content. That’s what they want: content and connections, which will help them improve their businesses and their lives. But the information says otherwise. That’s why the highest fees go to the biggest celebrities, and not to the most insightful presenters. Don’t believe me? Look it up. Halley Berry receives $100 -$500k for corporate appearances. Wal-Mart paid her six figures to appear at its 2004 shareholders meeting. Trying to get paid attendees to your next event? Who do you think will draw more people, the Desperate Housewives or Peter Senge? Be honest.
Tom isn’t being cynical here, I think he’s noticed a large elephant under the table that needs some attention. In the comments, Michael D Pollock has a pretty good stab at answering Tom’s challenge.
I regularly catch myself making predictions that such-and-such an approach won’t work. and I’m certainly guilty of insisting hype will fail when there is plenty of evidence that it sometimes succeeds, often for very long periods of time. So I try to qualify my predictions by admitting that I’m influenced by my own preferences. So if I suggest something won’t work, I might also say that I’m biased because I’m more comfortable avoiding hype. If you put me against a wall, there are a lot of things I won’t do for money and others are less picky or sanctimonious, depending on your worldview.
I suppose that I’m not likely to recommend getting Halle Berry to address your conference, although for some organisations, that might be just what they need. Walmart can easily afford her and she might do something worthwhile with the money.
And there are plenty of examples of businesses that seem to do well without the advertising and the hype, just as there are those that seem to flourish on them.
I’m with Tom in mocking expertise. I’m not an expert.
That Ionesco quote resonates too. Sitting in groups, I see a lot time spent on battling over principles, and sometimes I’m one of the battlers. Battles that often feel like the narcissism of small differences. I think when people talk more about how they feel, rather than saying how the world is, there’s a bit more common ground.
Next, I’m gong to post something about postmodernism, which relates to this in some way or other. I’m putting in a separate post cos it’s a bit esoteric.