Hugh’s post (see below) prompts me to suggest the following:
Focus groups are rarely if ever a way to have a smart conversation with customers.
Showpiece ads about how clever your product is… mostly conversation killers.
90% of all mission statements, and all similar “defintitive” statements idealising a business… about as good for conversation as bad breath.
90% of all books telling you “how to” do things as if life is really just about following instructions… conversational cyanide.
Of course, if you want a conversation, any statement, however simplisitic or provocative, can be treated as an offer. And as some advertisers are learning, the conversation may come to you regardless of your efforts…