Fascinating how so much of our business is about offering information to people based on what they don’t know: New facts, new formulas, new claims, new news – all designed to fill the void and suddenly complete them, changing their behaviour and converting them to believers.
Very teacher / student indeed.
And then there’s that single, lonely paragraph assigned to What do they currently feel and / do relative to the product? in most of our briefing documents.
Big ask for a two finger deep text box.
(Personally, I think this box should be auto filled with ‘They probably don’t give a shit’.)
What if we look at it differently? Let’s go a bit loco and assume (stay with me on this) that they already know everything?
Not everything as in the 2nd City of Uruguay*, but rather, on an emotional level.
They say by age 6 we’re already fully emotionally programmed. It’s all in there.
It just doesn’t live on the surface. But it pretty much steers all of our behaviour.
What if we designed our messaging entirely around finding, harnessing and activating the latent E.Q. and write the product, service, brand, promise into that?
And (here’s the important and diffficult part) use as little information as necessary to underwrite the emotional claim.
I prefer this.
Keeps it honest. Keeps it emotionally provocative and engaging. Makes it personal.
And I bet it serves better with brand loyalty and recall too.
A while ago I developed a process when talking to clients about showing respect for the audience they’re engaging. I’d often had work met with, “Yes, we understand that and it’s very clever, but will the audience? Is it too clever for them?” Patronising says what?
But it also forced me to assess the work I was doing, and ask, “Well, is it?”
Without fail, the best work was always better because it tapped into a better human truth, and not because of it’s I.Q. In fact, the ‘clever’ work, seemed to draw much smaller audiences.
Which lead me to this guiding principle: Great work should seek out the highest emotional denominator, and preferably, the lowest intellectual denominator.
It has proven to be a very efficient approach.
Let’s tap into what they already inherently feel, amplify that to a whole new level, and not try get in through their rational minds that are massively fatigued and distracted anyway.
It sets our eye on finding the highest emotional truth, but prevents us from going up our own arses with over-intellectualism or extrapolated-group-democracy-corrupted information.
Which, guess what, isn’t interesting to begin with.
And of course, if you have a product that does something extraordinary and unique, just show them. They’ll take over from there.
* I have no idea what Uruguay’s second City is. Montevideo? I’d love to go to Uruguay.