Spice speech


Over the years, I’ve killed my throat. Or toughened it up – it all depends on your perspective.

You see the thing is – I love spice. Whether it’s black pepper, cayenne pepper, or chilli pepper, I’ll incorporate it into recipes in some of the most surprising, and occasionally inappropriate ways. Just ask anybody that I’ve ever made hot chocolate for.

Over the years though, my taste buds have toughened up to the constant flow of tobasco. It now takes fairly incredible amounts for it to register on me. I’ve developed a tolerance.

In a similar way, our polarised politics and news media means that if you don’t have a really strong opinion, a Scots-Bonnet of an opinion (chilli lovers will know what I mean), then you’re not going to be heard, because audiences too have developed a tolerance for heat.

Then I spotted this piece on the web-site of my friend and fellow blogger, Broc Edwards. That tolerance for polarised heat that we’ve all developed exists in the commercial branding world, and in presentation world as well.

In a world where we’ve all become used to a good dose of chilli with every message, what’s the right amount of heat to be adding to presentations?

fool (with a plan)

I’m fascinated by branding. Not the marking-cows-so-the-don’t-get-rustled kind. The kind of branding that’s about identity and messaging and clear authenticity. How clear? If No One Hates You, No One is Paying Attention. That statement is the title of a great piece by Alf Rehn (@alfrehn), and gets at the heart of branding. Alf reminds us that trying to be all things to all people doesn’t work, despite the legions of businesses that attempt it. It makes sense to know and declare who you are as a business and what you stand for. But the ugly, unmentioned downside is that in doing so you are also declaring who you aren’t and who you stand against.

So truly strong branding is only telling people “Our products are for you. You will like them. You will like what being associated with them says about you. You should buy them.” But it’s also…

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