I’ve never been a follower of the whole New Years resolution idea, not that I don’t think I can follow through with it, but because I think we tend to set ourselves up for failure with such things. However, for some reason this year, I felt compelled to come up with a realistic resolution, besides changing the world of course. Maybe it’s too late since the ball’s long since dropped in New York, but it’s better than never and Chinese New Years is Sunday, so it kind of works.
I wanted to change something that impacts my life on a daily basis. I began questioning my daily activities. What were the things that pissed me off? What would I have done differently? Why didn’t I say what I wanted to say at the time that I should have said it instead of ranting to myself while washing the dishes? Why does my back always hurt?
Well, from excessive bending to meet the unattainable desires of individuals who can simply be titled miserable and whose goal is to make everyone else feel the same. It’s from avoiding conflict and just sluffing off the residue. From convincing myself that it really didn’t matter, that doesn’t bother me.
Like “they” say, there is truth to every joke. Every utterance has some meaning to convey and is often heard whether intended or not. Being a writer I can’t help but take words seriously and I feel a responsibility, or rather an impulsive behavior (next year’s resolution), to analyzing everything, sometimes too much and sometimes too late.
Back to the point. I decided I will not bite my tongue any more. When I feel that my intelligence is being undermined, I’m going to say so. When I feel insulted or devalued, I’ll make it known and if I don’t get the response I expect, I’ll leave.
That is exactly what the consumer will do. And rightfully so. Like me, they too are tired of the fluff that fills the pages, the unfulfilled claims, and the meaningless promises. Nick Usborne describes it perfectly in his blog,
“If copywriters, online and offline, can’t be trusted to be honest, and free of hyperbole when promoting themselves – how can we expect companies to trust us to write copy for their web sites and print materials?”
Furthermore, how can we expect consumers to sift through pages of garbage only to be dooped in the end?
In his book, net words: Creating High-Impact Online Copy, Usborne claims that honesty is the key to copywriting.
“Scamming your audience is easy. A few buzzwords, a contest, and a photograph of a tropical paradise will do it every time. But that’s not how you build a loyal customer base.”
This is an analogy for all the relationships we foster throughout our lives. Maybe we should view these relationships as a customer views a product. The consumer isn’t going to take it, either.
There’s a new breed of consumers. They aren’t suckers anymore. Check out what Julien Smith has to say about it in his Change This Manifesto, a must read for anyone who plans to be in good standing in the future.