Our Cognitive Wiring Needs A Tune Up

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” -Albert Einstein
less_conversation.jpg
I was reading my signed copy of Tom Asacker’s new book, A Little Less Conversation: Connecting with Customers in a Noisy World, on the plane from Houston this morning.
The opening passage in Chapter 3 reached out and grabbed me:

The ideas that you’ve been exposed to about business, that it’s all about exchanging tangible benefits for money with rational people who are trying to accomplish something in the marketplace is holding you down. You’re habituated to it. You’re stuck. Your ideas about branding are also holding you down. Branding is not about discovering your essence, nor is it a graphic design and communication endeavor. It’s about creating your essence by working with customers to uniquely add value to their lives.
…Don’t let your habituated mind talk you out of the truth about the marketplace.

I love that phrasing, “your habituated mind.” How many of us in Adlandia are creatures with habituated minds? A fair number, I’m going to say. Yet, if you believe Asacker and others sounding similar notes of change, we need to find new ways of looking at the marketing problems our clients face. We need to find myriad ways to unhabituate our minds. Just because we’re still leaning on TV (or whatever methods we’re leaning on) doesn’t mean we can continue to do so in 2009 and beyond.
As we work on the reinvention of marketing communications, it seems like we would do well to continually ask, “Have you empowered the customer today?” Also ask “What examples of co-creation does the agency or brand have? We’ve seen the reel, where’s the wiki?”

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp.

  • http://multicultclassics.blogspot.com HighJive

    I liked your misspelling of Tom’s last name in the opening sentence. Askacker sorta reads like “Asskicker.” He should consider officially changing it – might create a stronger “brand” persona and sell more books.

  • http://www.adpulp.com Danny G.

    I’ve never asked that last question, but I guarantee you no one in my office, and no client I have, has any idea what a wiki is. Even though they all use Wikipedia.

  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    @HJ – Thanks for the copy edit
    @DG – Exactly. There’s lots of talk about co-creation and building communities, but not so much action. We point to it here when we see it, but mostly what we see is traditional blast messaging with no invitation to participate. Unless you call “purchasing” participating.

  • http://GrowMap.com Internet Strategist

    It is not obvious that many people are actually waiting for a direct invitation – even to a public event or resource.
    Many don’t participate because they don’t have the basic knowledge to understand how to do so. Making faulty assumptions about others’ awareness of industry jargon is a common mistake.