on jargon, personality, warm up acts, et al
So i have yet again changed the format of the newsletter.
But instead of explaining why, i’m just gonna keep writing like nothing’s happened.
(Maybe i am getting good at following people’s advice around self-confidence.)
(AKA stuff i’ve been writing, which carries taste notes of some kind.)
Jargon doesn't impress anyone, apart from our own ego.
makes people nod, but doesn't help them think better
sounds good in meetings, makes no sense in meeting notes
it's often more hot air than actual strategic or creative heat
The great irony is that ten cent words are more valuable than ten dollar ones.
So many brands obsessed with relevance and personalisation.
So few obsessed with having a distinctive personality.
And when i say personality, this isn't just in the tone of your ads.
But the tone of how you approach customer engagement channels.
How you decide to (or not) react to something that's wildly popular right now.
How you relate to your partners, be they other corporations or creators.
Of course, personalisation is *what* you choose to say to a particular person.
And there ain't nothing wrong with that, far from it.
But personality is *how* you choose to say, behave, relate to the world.
One helps you fit in, but the other is how you stand out.
And that's where the real competitive advantages in comms often come from.
So sure, start with why... work out the what... but then absolutely smash the how.
Planners like to treat planning as the main show, but we're the warm up act at best.
I mean, sure, good, simple, if possible smart, planning matters.
But until something travels from a deck to a day in a real person's life, it's all theory.
I love this expression of 'the acid test of the market', it's a term i stole from war lingo.
And while war analogies in planning are a cliché, the principle of acid tests remain.
Once something hits the market, for a long enough period of time, then we're on.
Everything until then is framing, persuading, reassuring, finessing, rinse, repeat.
Good ideas, that can be expressed in a multitude of ways, that's the real show.
The stuff real people care about, outside of the fancy cocktail parties we all love.
(Except if you don't drink, dislike huge groups, and bond more 1-on-1, like i do.)
This warm up act analogy shouldn't be cause for despair, or belittling, not at all.
A great warm up act ensures the energy in the room is right for the main gig to enter.
And generating energy is more than upfront slides, it sets the tone for the whole thing.
The more experienced i get, the more i feel ok with this idea that it isn't about me.
It's about whatever i do creating the conditions for someone else to flourish and win.
Then again, maybe i am just projecting my new-dad brain psychology onto all this.
(AKA stuff i’ve been reading and will be useful somewhere, or somewhen.)
Might feel basic, but 90% of c̶o̶n̶t̶e̶n̶t̶ all strategies could do with more of this.
Or, how unsustainable systems are often designed to make big things, bigger.
Finally, i feel validated – winners play the long game (in my case, some 25+ years).
AKA the next Group Think Fest is around the corner, get yo ticket while you can.
I feel like we don’t talk enough about how to work more effectively with synesthetes.
A good example of using your company ethos to actually add value to a flashy thing.
The uber-kind minds behind Today Do This offer 48+ ways you can get started.
It’s 2023, and every brand on TikTok is a spin off of Duolingo-meets-Ryanair.
Creator burnout is very real, and we need to talk more / keep talking about it.