Saturday, March 28, 2009

Too clever by half.

I was linked to a discussion this morning where the author of the original post was bemoaning the fact that his not-for-profit sector was hampered by a branding problem. I read along to the very end, and had to agree. After slogging through 755 words, I still had no clear idea what business the fellow was in, and was forced to go off-page to Google the subject.

A branding problem of the first order.

That's the curse of cleverness, the ego being enamored of its own ability to invent, to demonstrate it's supreme (some say terminal) uniqueness. Nothing impedes communication quite like it.

The worst (and all-too-common) offender in this author's case? Referring to the sector by insider acronym only. Words are called into existence by necessity. When they are manufactured like shiny buttons and bows on wrapping paper, they are layers to be gotten through before the content is recognized. You may ooh and ahh for a spell at their majesty and charm and intricacy. But eventually they will be discarded in a heap in favor of the real meaning being kept under wraps beneath.

And when there's no there, there? Just buttons and bows? Well, that's what makes little kids cry at Christmas and grow up to be mean, scary, selfish adults? When in doubt, remember the four absolutes (yeah, I had to get that plug in there again).

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