December 7, 2017
A simple word but a most powerful one.
Well there is your answer. It demands attention, it courts a response, it leads to enlightenment.
Children use it all the time in their formative years as they begin to engage with their surroundings and their incessant inquisitiveness is the foundation of their hunger for knowledge.
Why is the sky blue?
Why do I have to go to bed now?
Why do I have to smile in photos?
Why can’t I stick a fork in a plug socket?
Questions, questions, questions…
In the branding and advertising business, this innate curiousness is something that we need to tap into. Too often, we hear clients’ requests/statements/ideologies that need deeper analysis. They should be challenged, as without this we simply become vessels for channelling someone else’s unquestioned (and possibly questionable) requirements.
Why is your customer service so much better than everyone else?
Why do you think launching this product in summer is the right time?
Why do you want to reposition your brand?
Why do you want to stick a fork in a plug socket?
Asking questions leads to a better understanding, obviously. You’d be surprised that some prospective clients I’ve encountered at the pitch level have taken umbrage with being asked questions. It generally leads to a conversation that follows the lines of: a) No other agency is asking questions (b) I don’t have the time to answer these (c) Can’t you just answer my ‘brief’?
It’s often these people who didn’t really question themselves hard enough about the fork, and no good will come from working with them.
And asking ‘Why?’ shouldn’t just be for clients it’s an internal tool too.
Why should the creative team be enthused by this brief?
Why will people want to look at this communication?
Why would the target audience be inspired to take action after seeing this creative?
Why does that fork look like it belongs in a plug socket?
Why should you try to unearth more information and develop greater insights in everything you do?