I was reading the paper-paper today on the flooding in Thailand and a quote really hit me in the solar plexus: “I have lost the ability to be angry.” Though not the exact definition of hopelessness, it’s in the neighborhood. I am a brand planner, which means I help brands organize their Is-Does using one big honking brand idea and 3 support planks. Support that, when combined, convinces consumers of unique value.
To get the idea and planks, I do a lot of research, ask a lot of questions and map a lot of behaviors. As a small business without the resources of huge research machines, my craft has been fine-tuned with tricks, short cuts, and marketing muscle memory. And when I come across a sentence like “Lost the ability to be angry,” it gives me planning pause. It’s raw. It’s real. And I’m going to steal it. (Faris Yakob, I borrowed your “S” word.)
My challenge is to find a way to work that probe into the battery of Qs I pose when interviewing. Those questions are a good portion of the “What’s the idea?” secret sauce, but not the sauce itself. Jacques Pepin would say it’s not the ingredients. it’s the technique.
If you are selling Heineken Light and asking 20-something males about their evening drinking habits (this target indexes high for daytime Heineken Light drinking), how do you segue into a discussion about “numbness to anger?” By being on your toes. You have to be chatting and story-listening, not interviewing. Peace!