The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

If You Don’t Know The Nuance, You Only Know The Cliche’s.

A client recently told me a story of a very successful client he worked with.

Apparently this person was a lover of cars and owned Ferrari’s and Rolls Royce’s.

My client asked him what the difference was between them.

Expecting some conversation about performance or comfort, he was surprised when he heard:

“When I pull into a hotel in my Ferrari, I’m treated like I’ve booked the Penthouse Suite. But when I pull up in my Rolls, I’m treated like I own the hotel”.

I really like that.

I like it for a whole host of reasons.

But the main one is the clarity in differentiating ‘success’.

So often, as an industry, we define things in absolute terms.

Good. Bad. Rich. Poor. Success, Failure.

But as with all things in life, there’s nuance and texture in there if you look closer.

Which is why planning – despite all the information that is now available to us – is still an outdoor job.

Going out to talk to people.
Listening to different viewpoints.
Watching how different groups react to different situations.

It’s not a ‘day out’. It’s not ‘superficial fluff’.

It’s the difference between doing work for people or about people.

I’ve banged on about the importance of resonance over relevance for years, but it’s never been so important … because with so much choice of who we can give our attention to, if we want to stand any chance of having people give a modicum of a shit about us and what we do/think, then we better be speaking their language and context rather than the language and context we think – or want – them to speak.

[A classic of utter bollocks is still the Gerard Butler, ‘Man of Today’ ad for BOSS. You can read the post I wrote here and see the ad it is referring to, here]

If the people behind the brilliant TV show, Succession, can talk to billionaires to ensure everything on the show reflects how the super rich spend their money – and how they act because of it, ie: they never bend their head down when entering or existing a helicopter because they travel by them so much, they know exactly where the propeller is in relation to their height – then surely we can go and spend some time with people to see what they do and hear how they think about brushing their bloody teeth or something equally inane.

If we want to get back to being valuable to clients, we’d go a long way towards that by stopping with audience generalisations – of which I am absolutely including broad – or even narrow – Lifestage segmentation – and knowing the real nuances.

10 Comments so far
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do people driving a fucking blue audi just try and get a free nights stay in the fucking hotel?

Comment by andy@cynic

Motel 6.

Comment by Bazza

hed still want it for free.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

God I’ll stay anywhere.

I lived in a Premier Inn [the UK, Motel 6] for a month and in Australia, I lived in a backpackers [when I wasn’t a backpacker] for 4 months. AND I WAS PAYING.

But yes, I do prefer the nicer places. Especially when they’re free and will still serve me non-poncey food,. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

The photo at the top is a real car crash of car crashes.

Comment by Bazza

Also known as an insurance companies worst nightmare.

Comment by Rob

Sure, there may be differences between Rolls and Ferrari drivers but they’re both normally pricks. #insight

Comment by DH

That’s a better insight than some of the ones I recently judged.

Comment by Rob

I always get a taller person to leave my helicopter first.

Comment by John

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