The More Effect
More, more more
Debunking that more is more
Lies. More does not equate happiness. We live in an era where the world bombards us with messaging that more = better. The weight and stress of this causes numerous distractions in our lives. We're obese mentally, physically, and spiritually.
The mind and patterns of an average human: Open that web browser, now another one, now remember that one thing that one person mentioned you needed to see - open that link. Check your text, open the news, who is dating who and broke up with that person?, what team won, did your friend from college just have a baby and you didn't even know?, that friend posts way too many pics of their kids, oh - I got a "like", what's this notification?, I should look up their LinkedIn profile, my work email is piling up, I have to check my personal email on my mobile, better call them, did I forget something I needed to do yesterday?, I should workout this week (and more), I should look that up on eBay and see if there's a deal, that commercial was lame and I cannot believe someone was paid all that money to make it, billboards are annoying, I should pay attention to the road more while driving, I am so tired of powerpoints, I should do more exciting things, my family needs more of my focus, I need to let go of tat so it's not in my mind anymore, I should call my mom more, my kid is growing up so fast, daycare is expensive, wonder what I should do for lunch, I should go to church more, I think we need something from the grocery store, I need to pay that bill real quick while on this conference call...
Rebel cry for the less "more"
Bigger car, better job, larger house, grow the bank account, more food, and the like are all decent enough - in moderation. Who wouldn't want a larger bank account?! Don't confuse me for crazy, but allow me if you will for a moment to justify the essence of becoming found by eliminating "The More Effect".
Super-sizing your life can actually be detrimental. Mentally, physically, and spiritually. We're extending beyond a marketing concept here, and into realms of responsibility we have to ourselves and the world. The media and branding world leverage the notion of "keeping up with what we feed you and others" to pluck our inner desire to become more popular, fit in, achieve, and be part of and in the trend lines.
I inspire you to go tangent to the curve. There's a literal freedom to removing the weight of the world that way. Consuming everything overwhelms your well-being. Our hearts and minds cannot digest all that is bombarding us daily, and our ability to 'toggle' back and forth between computer, mobile, TV and other screens while paying attention to others, and responding with a deep understanding of what's requested of us. All these distractions leading us to rabbit holes deter us from seeing the beauty of now, reality to what's happening, and diminishes our life experience due to overly zealous appetites we're told to have. It's imperative that we stop toggling so much, be still, captivate our thoughts, and carefully hone in on what truly matters.
You can discover what I am saying by a few ways. First, you may already be thinking, "Yeah, I know - we all want more stuff.", so what? Secondly, you may think, "Who cares, it is what it is.". Then lastly, your mental gymnastics think around how this has influenced your life beyond quick commercials, links, emails, billboards, shelf spaces, and 140 characters. This is where the compelling ability to notice arrives.
At the intersection of 'The More Effect' and your daily grind, you will be enlightened with recognizing this process. Look at your dinner or restaurant plates (in America). Watch gas trends and how the price increases, with little or no effect on the sales and value of SUV's. Dissect commercials and what they're pitching your way, really. Buy this, and you'll be happy. If you only had a little more of that, you'd rise to the top. But (there's always a 'but'), does this mean you'll not only 'fit in', BUT you'll be free/happy? The challenge is liberating yourself from what becomes normalcy through exposure.
He watched too many ads today
Notate for a week the thousands of messages you receive from marketing alone. Such as: Labels, packaging, neon signs, commercials, social media, websites, billboards, walls, benches, cars, semis/trailers, print, aisles, grocery stores, and similar. Your brain is fed well, but is it truly nourished? Once you convey this to your spirit, you will begin liberation.
I lead marketing efforts. If I went into a client meeting and said, "do less" - they'll think, "that sells less, get out!". The door hits me on the way out. Why? Because this is counter-intuitive. What if I proposed a new 'effect'. "The Disassociation Effect", the "less is more" principal, or "human driven branding". These ideas would encapsulate what it would be like if companies engaged in relationship driven and sincere integration into the lives of consumers efforts. This would be radical (@radicalbranding).
I fall victim to my own advice. I am after all a human, with resulting behavior. I prefer nike gym shoes. If I wear a polo shirt, I think I am better with a little horsey on the left breast area. My cereal tastes better if it's not generic. My care defines my personality. I could go on and on, and will spare you a ear headache. You're smart, you get it.
I am not proposing that we all go out and hug trees, although that has its place on our planet. I am not an extremist advocating for the boycott of Fortune 500 companies, largely because five of them pay my American Dream and the bills that result from it. I am suggesting we all disassociate from what 'happens' to us, think apart from the messages thrust upon our face, and dissect our decisions.
To me, marketing is a humongous responsibility. It has the power to adjust the needle on the health of a business. With that, you can hire people, give raises, affect the economy, and many other wonderful positive opportunities within our world. I feel it is a moral obligation to respect the methods at which you convey the gifts you offer to people, the power of design/copy around your brand, and the lives that you connect with through your dynamic channels.
This is mixing psychology, marketing, physiology, and chemistry. The appetizer is your spirit. The result is how attached you are to the world around you, and the behavior you enact into your life events, style, and decisions. That is huge. How does an ad change eduction? What does product placement have to do with music, then what this do to the cultural proficiency for youth? It is all interconnected. It matters.
The majority of leaders within business traditionally measure, inspect the results they expect, and define success in relation to P&L, sales, cost, growth, and other insights. It is easy to have the goal of increasing profit margin, measure it, then steer the ship with this archaic principal. Companies now understand that innovation is not just a buzzword. Human Resources should apply Organizational Development/Talent methods that think about the health, wellness, and happiness of their work force - not just 'who can read financials and strategically lead a vision to it?'. Marketing means more than that. It's an art and science.
What is the effect of making airplane seats a few inches more narrow have on revenue? You can measure that, but a better question would be, "What would making seats smaller do to the comfort of our customers?". Gas prices are on the rise, the economy is horrible, and we must manufacture vehicles at a lower cost. Do we sacrifice the quality of a car riding experience for a few millimeters on the production line? Or, do we beef up the ability of the vehicle to increase happiness through the streamlined design without intruding upon the size/safety of the car? These are simply examples, not for attack. You get the picture.
Have you ever known a restaurant owner who eats at their own place? Not just for convenience, but for understanding the experience they are providing - to learn beyond what goes on in the kitchen, cash register, and closing. Do you make portions smaller, or the plates bigger? Wrong. You make the food healthier, think around how you can make a customer's experience more satisfying, deliver quality food and dining moments, and the moments of truth beyond their entry, seating, and exit of your establishment. Great restauranteers succeed because they go beyond short term, and not only want to give you good food, but a grand experience - in all areas. The visual, aesthetic, olfactory, and of course - taste buds. They know if a chef passionate about creating, serving food that would move them as well, and inspiring their patrons - these are ingredients for a friendship recipe. You taste the smiles in your food, hopefully not literally - or unless it's the design of icing on a 'smiley face' cookie.
I could take you to a buffet. Open the gates to cholesterol heaven by way of steak, seafood, ice-cream, and more. Sure, you'll drool for about 20 minutes. After your third visit to the carb machine, your satisfaction levels wane. Life many things in life, more numbs you. You dream about it, desire it, feel you need it - then you get it, and the short term euphoric feeling of happiness triggers your neurotransmitters in your brand and BAM, you're good. Then what? We have many forms of happiness, and the more powerful ones resonate with your emotions, personality, and spirit - more than an object.
I propose that instead of commercials that align to the traditional storyboarding, opening middle and end of a short story-like initiative, and keep in mind the principal of repeating/reminder a subject three times - that they flip these concepts on their head. Pick one word that means something in humans (or whatever demographic data that some agency over-charged you with) have matter to them. Share that word in a picture, experiential opportunity, or solid colored packaging with the legal jargon upon it. Stop overwhelming the world with crap and get real. Sure, it does work if you want to exist to sell a bunch of junk, it does make a lot of money, but what is the purpose beyond this?
I am simply saying, "Don't reinvent the wheel, turn it a little differently.". Take your product marketing efforts and brainstorm individually, then as a group around how you can bring more meaning to our world through your endeavors, beyond slapping a charity logo on it that says you donate .001% of profits to that cause.
I encourage you to lean up. Your personal life, diet, fitness, and advertising consumption as well. See what it does in your life. Be a more intentional listener, notice your surroundings, and remember you're not some salivating dog who needs to chase and digest everything.
More is "not more". More is loud, annoying, a lie, and a distracting one at that. Be better. We have so much inflicted upon us, are provoked into arbitration in our minds to the point that we are exhausted to digesting the bombardment. Fed fear, the false need for more, and ironically end up empty. I instigate you to stop all the toggling and mind boggling.
For human driven branding that drives refreshingly compelling innovation, do less - more, and more with less.