Ordinarily Obvious or Elegantly Poised 

In college we used to eat food, out of a white generic can, that had one word on the label: MEAT. Or table wine that said “red wine.” Now I am producer, vineyard and vintage specific. 

On the other hand, Vogue magazine is not called, “That magazine with unattainable dresses and skinny sad models.” 

It is really tempting to believe that the answer to your marketing problem (what to name it, how to describe it, what to write about it) is to be obvious, direct, hyper-clear. And this is absolutely how architects approach the highly organic style of marketing. 

And that can certainly work. It works for fire alarms. It works for actionable, compelling direct marketing copy. But it does not initiate a dialogue, and it doesn’t become an idea virus. 

But for the rest of us, the rest of the time, it is poised elegance that lasts. That is because elegance trusts the user to make the connections, gives the user the power to build a use case, earns a secondary meaning. 

Hoover, Starbucks, Slack, Highway 61 Revisited, the speeches of Rev. King…Committees are bad at this. A group of the untrained searching for a word or phrase tends to push toward obvious. 
If no one says, “huh, I don’t get it,” you’ve built the obvious, not the elegant. Elegant takes a moment to get. It’s multilayered. 
Obvious is a trap often disguised as an arm chair, the last resort of an artist who can’t think clearly about what to do next. Succeeding at marketing means looking for the elegant, it means walking on the curb and not always looking for the sidewalk. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s