novelty: the banned wagon

bandwagon

If everyone else is doing it, that doesn’t mean you have to as well.

Once you’ve noticed it’s a craze, you’re probably too late for the party.

By its very nature, novelty is unsustainable.

It works well in the short term because shiny, new things are intriguing.

But all too soon, the craze will pass; the shine will fade, and the crowd will move on.

That’s fine if all all you’re looking for is a brief flurry of attention.

But if you’re looking for lasting results, meaningful benefits will win every time.

Be very clear about the value you’re providing with that iPhone app, social networking widget, twitter account, etc… doing something just because it’s shiny rarely delivers a worthy return on investment.

A subtler approach – with less pop, but more sizzle – will likely get you much closer to where you want to be.

More thoughts in a similar vein in this great post from Le’Nise Brothers, and this AdAge article on the evolution of iPhone apps.

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2 Responses to “novelty: the banned wagon”


  1. 1 John Barton September 17, 2009 at 05:12

    Excellent point. I think in cases where your clients and interests push you toward a “bandwagon” you have to check your motives. Are you trying to jump on it for a quick ride to make yourself look like you are “with it”, or are you there for the right reasons. I think the right reasons can include (but probably not limited to):

    1)This is where I spend my time

    2)This a meaningful channel to communicate what I have to say with the world and what I want to know about others

    3)I want to understand the social nuances, norms and etiquette of this media and I will not use it inappropriately

    In short, you and your client need to invest in a community and contribute to it – become part of it. Not unlike what Beck has done with the London pubs!

    Thanks for the post!

  2. 2 John V Willshire September 17, 2009 at 15:27

    Great point. My friend Katy Lindemann always refers to it as clients asking ‘what’s our Twitter/Facebook/Myspace/Google idea?’.

    …and having just written that, it’s made it blinding obvious… enabling technology always comes after the idea, not before.


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