#64 Business owners don’t get it

I read an article last night that “advertising” is dead. We have to use new labels to let people know we are in this present time and not the past – but the goal is still the same. Increase sales or promote an idea.

Advertising is Dead >

I do not agree with everything in this article. No big surprise, eh?

But I do agree times and methods have changed and we must adapt. The cycles for adaptation seem to come faster. But I suspect this is a matter of perception than actual evidence. Many methods and processes used to be more complex. They have gotten simpler and easier to understand.

So it’s not that problems have gotten harder. My willingness to adapt has shrunk. This is attrition or atrophy of my brain. “I don’t wanna” keeps me from embracing the next idea. Is it possible we’re weary of change and we can’t get off the ride?

When we talk about the client or customer “pain,” we’re exploring positioning strategy. Positioning is the shortcut to the buyer’s motive. Motive is based upon anxiety or pain. Same thing, new label.

I communicate in terms of profit and ROI to my clients. Business owners don’t get the touchy-feely design world I live in (INFP Meyers-Briggs profile.) My whole client presentation is couched in terms of profit and ROI (unless they’re an artist, of course.)

My goal is to convert their goals into a strategy of feeling and emotion – but if I told them that upfront – I’d never get hired. So I secretly work in reverse (backwards again.) Then make my presentation to logic and reason. I attempt justifying why orchestrating design choices -type, colors, symbols, etc– will help them achieve their goals. If I can speak in prejudiced, us-vs-them language, they’re left-brainers – like 51% of the U.S. population. They’re “Guardian” managerial-types (aka suits.)

Emotion (and thus design quality) as a strategy has risen in the awareness of modern businesses – especially based on Google and Apple’s success with user experience. UX is about how people feel when using a product or service. It’s become a way to differentiate a product from the herd (especially when all products look the same when they’re turned off.)

This primal emotional stuff is voodoo to most business men. When I ask them what they’d like me to do for them, the first thing out of their mouth is either “More profit or More sales.” They don’t realize that connecting emotionally is an important part of the solution to that problem. I’m sure you acknowledge the resistance to exploring “feelings” with business owners.

Seth Godin said in a talk earlier that Apple’s mission is teaching the world what is “good taste.” This claim about Apple’s “good taste” as a differentiator is mythical or bragging at best. You’ll NOT find that idea mentioned in any of Apple’s annual reports. They’re about profitability and return on investment.

Seth Godin video link >
20 minutes viewing time.

“Rebuttal” by Larry Wall, in 2011. Wall is the creator of the Python computing language:
Apple Tries to Be the Arbiter of Good Taste >
5 minutes viewing time.

But when good taste becomes mandatory, then it’s not really good taste any more—it’s just manners,” says Wall.

Good user experience is just good manners and proper etiquette. Politeness and hospitality (aka common sense.)

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