More on one-word equity

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

I’m following up on my earlier post on Saatchi’s one-word equity.

First let me give Maurice Saatchi credit. At least by making what Improv folks would call a bold offer, he’s generated some good responses and led me to a few interesting bloggers I’d not come across yet.

My aggregator has swollen yet further as a result. Oh dear.

Lee McEwan (who’s just started blogging, hi Lee) was unable to resist the urge to come up with his one-word for the theory here: pish. He quotes this reply to the FT from Peter Shaw:

British Airways was a success because a great service was created by talented and hard-working people on the back of a great deal of investment, not because a copywriter came up with a tag line containing the word “favourite”.

Lee also links to John Grant. I love this bit of John’s analysis:

I think of the other side of this debate as the organic branding movement. We like things more lumpy, less designed, and were never setting out to make RUTHLESS REPETITION a god. The death wish (in Freud) is in part about the urge to repeat, and so doing kill the possibility of any new experience.

John gives Saatchi credit for provoking thought. And I’m smiling approvingly at his closing comment:

I quite enjoy brand planning systems & dogma imposed by big clients, it gives you something to wrestle with. So long as you don’t think they have anything to do with building successful, thriving and (often at first sight rather odd) brand ideas! That kind of thing nearly always happens by happy accident and planning is at best a sort of attention to that possibility?

The breadcrumb trail also led me to Gareth Kay. Gareth says

Regular readers will know what I think about this – overly simplistic tosh that leads to blands not brands – and I could go on a rant for a while about this.

Sounds like a kindred spirit. As does Ashley Friedlein who jumped on the same ironies as I did about the means Saatchi used to deliver his idea. I also liked Ashley’s rhetorical suggestion elsewhere in his blog to fire all your marketing staff – you don’t need them.

I also thought Jon Howard made sense:

If, as Saatchi seems to be proposing, you are looking for that perfect, diamond sharp word (it doesn’t exist by the way) which you then use to impose rigid and literal consistency across your business, like a linguistic a rod of iron (or straitjacket), then I vehemently disagree. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a simple, easy to grasp concept to act as a lose anchor for all you do, but where there is the flexibility to interpret and execute this in many different ways, then I have more sympathy.

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