Common Sense Vs Uncommon Sense

This piece comes from one of good thought leaders that I know going by the name of Graham D Brown. He writes on this phenomenon of “Uncommon Sense” spreading through brands and marketers which was initiated by some great individuals at first.

Common Sense is the rationale behind a boring marketing decision to aim for the safe option or marketing by committee. Common Sense tells us through the media that we are “not enough” but the pain can be removed by this next purchase – a BMW or Olay’s wrinkle cream. Common Sense propels business owners to constantly seek “more” growth, “more” market share because that’s what everyone else is doing.

Common Sense is health and safety, litigious culture and the 4 page disclaimer.

Common Sense means our organizations encourage us to be “busy” and spend our days chasing our tails, checking emails and reacting to other people’s agendas

I’m sure that some of these resonate with you, because these are common symptoms to a common problem – that is we live in fear of making decisions, taking risks and being guided by our principles

So what is uncommon Sense?

Uncommon Sense is when you take the plunge and aim to work less in order to begin enjoying life more

Uncommon Sense is when Jones Soda aims to take on the largest brand in the world by launching product lines such as “Turkey & Gravy flavoured” soda.

Uncommon Sense lies behinds Starbuck’s decision to compete with the price sensitive fast food market by charging nearly double for a premium cup of coffee.

Uncommon Sense gave us John Lennon, M K Gandhi, Martin Luther King and many more individuals who had the bravery to make a decision, take the risk and stand up for what they believed in – the power of the creative individual.

Uncommon Sense encouraged Radiohead to give away their album for free – or as much as the downloaders were willing to pay for it.

When Apple decided to launch the Ipod it took a massive gamble on the market. By refusing to benchmark its product against the prevailing market offering and focusing energies on communicating with its customer base, Apple reaped the long term dividends.

Risks? Yes, that means uncommon sense.

Marketing would normally mean common sense. You know, let’s make a drink like Coke but only cheaper, or worse still let’s make a drink better than Coke.

Goes on to give a great example of a great (not good) brand REDBULL

* Clarity in its message (we are for active aspirational youth, we are definitely not for old people)
* Value creation (we create events rather than sponsor them – eg Xgames, Red Bull Air Race)
* Dialogue (marketing is something we do with rather than to youth – exemplified by their on-campus marketing activities)
What do you think….?


~ by digivine on October 15, 2008.

One Response to “Common Sense Vs Uncommon Sense”

  1. I think this all makes ‘common’ sense 😉

    But I also think that many failures – in any kind of industry – comes from lack of common sense. So of course, we can find plenty of examples of large success coming from ‘uncommon sense’ because they bring fresh ideas, break new grounds and so on and so forth…
    would just say that where there’s some sense – either common or uncommon – that are backed by some degree of creativity as well as some good knowledge, then you can go by using some uncommon sense to create new rules, new way of thinking and breaking new grounds because it all comes down to the basic fact that when you know the rules, then you can go and bend them. always best that bending the rules without having knowledge of those very rules – otherwise it just ends up creating confusion and chaos which definitely leads to failure at some point

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