Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Voltaire As Marketer: To Become A Boring Brand, Leave Nothing Out

18th Century Author Offers Lesson In Communicating Through Simplicity

François-Marie Arouet was a French Enlightenment writer known for his wit and defense of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and the right to a fair trial.

Arouet, more commonly known by his pen name Voltaire, he the author of Candide, ou l'Optimisme, also offered us the following, which today applies to the discipline of branding:

The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

Too often organizations rush to tell their public everything about themselves.

Think of the vast majority of tech company leaders, often engineers and scientists themselves, who rush to share the story of the advances behind their technology. They have so much to say because they themselves are enamored by their achievements. And justifiably so.

But rather than creating engagement and growing market opportunity, this approach becomes an exercise of tech narcissism.

The reason is that end users are less interested in the "technology patent" than what the advance enables them to do that was undoable before. 

Instead, people will readily stop and invest their time and mental effort to hear a simple thought, elegantly expressed in a new and entertaining way, as the entry point to the details of the technology advance - and the larger story behind the product.

Voltaire helps make the point.

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