Friday, March 21, 2008

Brand hatred

Here are a few things that I hate, or at least find pretty annoying:

Career advice: top 10 ways to negotiate for a higher salary, top 10 resume mistakes, top 100 things you should never say to your boss, top #1 way to waste time that would be better spent doing your job

Moralizing exercise: not moral exercises which are probably under-utilized, but when people try to claim that their exercise is a moral activity, suggesting they are a better person because they go to the gym. It might be good for you, but it's not good in any axiological sense.

He said, she said or the assumption that men and women miscommunicate on a such a deep level it's a shock that we aren't all gay: sorry honey, I need to get the XX=XY translator before my I can comprehend the sounds coming out of your mouth.

One of the reasons that I have a reaction strong enough to even classify as "hate" is that these things are quite prevalent. You might say they are beloved by the culture as a whole. Otherwise, they'd be simply irrelevant or at least easily avoided, like pretentious music critics. They're annoying too, but I don't run into them very often, at least compared to people who talk about their work-outs.

Back at the last planning conference in San Diego, a planner from kbp and I cooked up a theory of brand hatred. It was one of those darkly ironic planner conference ("Keep hating") kind of conversations, but now--post-Prius purchase--I'm thinking that we were onto something. Any brand or message that inspires hate probably has something going for it.

As a preliminary exploration, I'm going to make sure I get some hating questions into my next consumer research.

In the meantime, no thank you to future offers to join book club conversations about spiritual journeys.

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