๐Ÿ’Ž On the rational excuse justifying the emotional decision (always include one)

Reason, despite what we would like to think, is not why we do what we do: it is the result of what we feel or do.

Famed adman David Ogilvy recognized this long ago when he wrote:

“Customers need a rational excuse to justify their emotional decisions. So always include one.”

(In France I once saw this expressed as “le rationnel est l’alibi du desir”.)

Why I love this observation is that Ogilvy uses a word not often given an airing in the communications business: excuse. Not reason or even (eugh) benefit or proposition, but excuse.

Excerpt from: The Storytelling Book (Concise Advice) by Anthony Tasgal

๐Ÿ’Ž On marketingโ€™s love of military metaphors (so many less aggressive alternatives are under-explored)

The fact is that many of the most basic ideas about and practices within organizations, management and business culture are based on a relatively small number of images and metaphors that remain largely under-explored.

It follows that, only by excavating the metaphor and uncovering its implicit meanings, can we hope to undo some of the damage that outdated thinking can do to our workplace lives.

So, for a start it’s so, well, destructive. The language of war is filled with hierarchies, systems, the culture of โ€œcommand and control” as well as being known for its generally rather aggressive and confrontational attitude to life and property.

To take the word โ€œtargetโ€ again: it implies that the “consumer” is little more than a battlefield to be fought over, and whoever has the bigger firepower and most control of their resources is likely to be victor.

Excerpt from: The Storytelling Book (Concise Advice) by Anthony Tasgal

๐Ÿ’Ž On the pernicious effect of “the Arithmocracy” (more specifically, the spreadsheet)

What the spreadsheet has done is to create in organisations and governments an over-reliance on numbers (by no means always meaningful or even accurate) with the result that often spurious numerical targets, metrics or values invariably override any conflicting human judgment. This has given rise to what a colleague of mine, Anthony Tasgal, calls “The Arithmocracy”: a powerful left-brained administrative caste which attaches importance only to things which can be expressed in numerical terms or on a chart.

Excerpt from: Rory Sutherland: The Wiki Man by Rory Sutherland