In search of small ideas…

Marketers tell us that all brands must have a 'big idea'. Why? Well just because....because...big is better, right? T...

August 10, 2003

Marketers tell us that all brands must have a ‘big idea’.

Why? Well just because….because…big is better, right? That’s why growth is good, and greed is great, and grass is always greener and…and…and…GRRRR.

But what if having a big idea is the worst mistake you can make?

Why? Well just because.

Beacuse the bigger they are, the harder they fall

Because times change

Because relationships evolve

Because knowledge evolves

Because needs change

Beacuse big ideas get shot at

Because expectations advance at thought-speed

Because big ideas are dehumanising

Because learning is more important than telling

Because patronising simplicity has had its day

Because no idea, no matter how gargatuan, can rival the wonderful smallness of just being alive.

Enough pub-speak.

The big trouble with big branding is that to survive, it needs to implant that idea into peoples’ heads. It seeks to persuade, rather than educate. It shouts when it should whisper. It is content-focused, when it should be context-focused. Fundamentally, it’s boring. “We hear your big idea, and we just don’t care.”

Beyond branding, I want to shine a tiny light on the cult of the small idea, which, being so small, will not even need advertising to explain it. You just watch. All around the world, people will begin do tiny things to improve one another’s lives as a backlash against ‘big culture’.

Reality is personal, subtle, changeable…small. Once we have our dignity, we will have no place for ‘big’ brands.

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