The value of one

30 May

(Guest post by Vancouver Island University MBA student Kayodé Wan.)

Kayodé Wan is also known as "brandnutter" on TwitterA while back, I had the misfortune of watching the movie, Eat Pray Love – a movie spun off a 2006 memoir by American author Elizabeth Gilbert, staring Julia Roberts. A misfortune because, I was coerced by my mate/host, who wanted to watch a chick flick to help deal with her insomnia. Since I was couch surfing, I had little to say about it.

While trying to keep my eyes open, and faking enthusiasm, one particular scene caught my attention.  Elizabeth, Julia Roberts’ character, is at a café with her mates, and they start this game, where one person mentions the name of a city, and another person mentions a word that aptly describes it. Paris was synonymous with romance: Rome sex, and New York ambition. Immediately, my I.M.C (Integrated Marketing Communications) cap came on: how can this concept be applied to branding?
The singular beauty of the word simple

In this day and age of information overload, brevity honestly is the soul of wit. I get a mild fit of irritation when I peruse a news article for instance, and it’s *blinking* long. You might reckon this a glaring symptom of A.D.D; and you’re probably right – I blame my twitter addiction. Now relating this to branding: can you in one word describe your brand? Or more importantly, can your target audience sum you up in one word?

Apple equals “innovation”. Louis Vuitton equals “posh”. Dana @1shelter Worberts equals “Wasabi-terminator” (my MBA classmate, who at sushi restaurants, devours lumps of wasabi with frightening ease). The bottom line here is, companies that can effectively communicate what they’re about, devoid of being garrulous, score major points: they seep through the fortified and sky-high mental walls of their audience. This is by no means an easy task; KISSING is hard (and by KISSING, I mean Keeping it short and simple).  Now let’s practice, me, Kayode Wan equals “@brandnutter”. Now your turn…

I conclude this train of thought, with a quote by Thomas Jefferson: “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”


6 Responses to “The value of one”

  1. GV May 30, 2011 at 8:56 am #


  2. Moe May 30, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    I suggest in keeping it simple you also need to be aware of certain phrases that can immediately turn off a reader/audience. For example ‘chick flick’ as a term of derision for a movie. If the movie needs a more disciplined hand in the editing room or the actors phone in their performances or it is simply a genre you dislike i.e. romance or journey of discovery, then please say so.
    Unintentional use of a perjoratiive may alienate nearly 1/2 of your audience. I would never, for example call a movie like, say, “The Hangover” a ‘dick flick’ simply because the lead actors are all male and it revolves around male bonding rituals. Hell, the vast majority of movies would fall into that one category of criticism if the only qualification was gender of the lead players.

    Be brief,yes, but be aware. As George Orwell points out it is better to break this rule before saying anything barbarous. And I would add ‘or offensive’.


    P.S. I have no desire to see that Eat, Pray, Love either but for a whole lot of reasons starting with a dislike of self-indulgent, pop-psyche navel gazing passing itself of as art.

  3. Kayodé May 30, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    Your admonishment is duly noted, and appreciated Moe – Cheers heaps!

  4. GV May 30, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    So if someone asked me to think of a word when someone asks about companies such as the above example that Kayodé Wan gave such as Apple and they said “yourcopeland” my immediate response would be “zombies”.

  5. anuttersclarity May 30, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Hahaha, indeed GV – *high five*

  6. dougbrowncreative May 30, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Copeland = Zombie huh? Given the thousands of ad agencies out there fighting over the territory of marketing-speak adjectives, I think I’m ok with Zombie for now.

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