Thursday, August 07, 2008

why meaning can't be forced

A friend of mine was with his girlfriend for seven years before they married. Two years after their marriage, they still celebrate their anniversary on the date they met and not the date they wed.

I feel slightly dirty turning this into a marketing insight, but it is a touching reminder of how personal 'meaning' is. You can create new experiences and try to fast-track meaning, but life just doesn't work like that.

Scrabble vs Scrabulous, anyone?


OpenID davidgillespie said...

Aw, that's lovely. I was saying to a friend recently something similar, except mine revolved around my favourite place to buy coffee in Melbourne. The place has changed hands, and even though they stock the same coffee, the old couple who ran the place are gone, and I went to chat to them, not because I couldn't get coffee anywhere else.

Subsequently, I haven't been back since I wandered in that day to find some stranger behind the counter. As you say, it seems somehow vulgar to think about it in a marketing context, but it turns out the brand (for me) hinged on something completely separate to the thing that took me there...there's probably some insight there somewhere, but it is, after all, Saturday.

2:48 am  
Blogger Andy Whitlock said...

nice. Seth Godin had a similar story about a coffee shop. The coffee in his favourite place wasn't as good as elsewhere.
I think the insight is that you can't always engineer the things that matter. And that perhaps the minute you start trying to, you've missed the point.

10:49 am  

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