On philosophy, basilisks and branding.

Tom Asacker's blasts against philsophical blogging about brands, provoking me to contrast the Transactional Game of business with the desire for relationships
Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

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

Compare and contrast… this comment to my site:

I’m getting a little exasperated with all of the philosophical blogging about brands, missions, visions, etc.

Let us never forget that the game of business is a transactional one. Meaning that if your company’s purpose is anything other than providing what people want in order to get them to exchange their time, attention and ultimately money for it, you’re misguided, at best.

Now . . . if you want to take that money and reinvest part of it in improving people’s lives and the world at large, I’m one of your fans. But please stay focused on the desires of the markeplace, or you’ll have no money, and hence no ability to make a difference in anyone’s life . . . except perhaps your own and your children’s.

Stay passionate . . . and focused!!!

with this posting:

“”Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.”

I’m often reluctant to use the word “love” in the same breath as commerce. But in this case, Saint-Exupery’s insight is perfect for today’s sales and marketing professionals. Your job is no longer to sell stuff and close deals by watching intently for subtle shifts in your clients’ behavior. Rather, it’s to open up new worlds and new possibilities to them.

Forget your agenda! Give up your need to control! And start looking together towards the horizon . . . towards a creative and mutually rewarding, long-term relationship.”

You might think these two writers might not get on. Yet they are both Tom Asacker. The first is Tom in exasperated mode (to see what I’m like in exasperated mode, look at my Dr Rant category)

When I first read Tom’s comment it came as a bit of shock to me. To be honest I felt a bit hurt until I realised I sometimes feel the same way. Some of the philosophising about brands exasperates me. There is so much pretentious claptrap about my “relationship” with the “values” of a Mars Bar.

But what (I hope) I’m philosophising about is “can’t we do better than this”?

One option is Exasperated Tom’s Transactional Game of Business, with its Basilisk Focus on the meat at hand. I think the Transactional Game is an understandable response to the waffle and dishonesty of marketing. Confronted with half truths, we give up on relationship and demand only to have our immediate needs gratified. Cut the crap British Telecom and cut my phone bill, don’t make me sign up for your pseudo-loyalty programme.

Then there is Philosophical Tom’s desire for mutually rewarding relationship. That’s what I’d like more of. Treat me with respect, as an end not a means, and I’ll be collaborative. These are the working relationships I put my energy into. That’s what I feel most humans are after, even those that present Basilisk mode.

And these trusting relationships start with… a transaction. Ultimately, the transactional game can be part of the relationship game.

Angry blogging. Scary but thought provoking. Discuss.

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