Experience defines loyalty, not unsubstantiated claims
If we reflect on the essence of quality, it can be stated with reasonable certainty that a product which is good enough does not require overt sales and marketing. The goal of any company, therefore, is to create self-evident desirability; this is the key to success. Overt marketing usually implies a greater deception. Overt salesmanship most certainly does.
In book 1 of Praeterita, the autobiography of John Ruskin, the author writes of his travels in Italy thus, when describing how, through a lack of understanding of the Italian language, he needs to get by on by observation rather than discourse:
” I don’t say our isolation was meritorious, or that people in general should know no language but their own. Yet the meek ignorance has these advantages. We did not travel for adventures, nor for company, but to see with our eyes and to measure with our hearts. If you have sympathy, the aspect of humanity is more true to the depths of it than its words; and even in my own land, the things in which I have been least deceived are those which I have learned as their spectator.”
Ruskin argues therefore that focused observation without decoration reveals a substantive truth. If one takes a study of people’s emotions and movements as more important than the dialogue between them, as renowned silent film commentator, Ithankyouarthur, would support, then we can see the logic of Ruskin’s position. Emotion is conveyed by more complex methods than by the base instrument of language.
If therefore we apply the study of observation to the presentation of a product’s attributes, we can begin to understand that the item which rewards regard is that which exudes capability beyond words. We may call this inherent truth.
We can observe inherent truth in a number of items today. Let us examine a random selection of three such items.
A Morgan car. This car is, technically, unmarketable in a highly competitive world, but it is what it is. Consumers judge it not for spurious claims, “clever” advertising and brand conceits. It is not a derivative design but one cultured by evolving graduation. It is a hand-made product of distinctive line and proportion, conjuring past times but supported by modern technology. It becomes desirable because, in being true to itself, it seeks not to deceive. Indeed, deception is unnecessary to it.
Halsbury’s Laws of England. A remarkable legal encyclopaedia which, though now also available digitally, is seen and recognised as the definitive statement of English law and is designed to assist all lawyers to answer any question which may, as a consequence of their business, be presented to them by a client. This legal work does not claim to be the authority on any topic – for which other works are available – but delivers fundamental reliability and clarity when a lawyer needs direction to respond promptly. It is, as a consequence, cited in courts up and down the land.
The Oxford English Dictionary. There are dictionaries and there is the OED. Defined as “the definitive record of the English language” it is the gatekeeper over accepted language and use and, as a consequence of its reputation, is seen as almost eponymous. The quality and academic rigour which lies behind the brand is a statement in itself of the reliability which the consumer can expect through delivery.
It is observed that none of these items feels it necessary to emit siren songs in the airwaves of our perception. Their chosen method of defining their reach lies in the statement of their substance. This, it is argued, is what lies behind the strongest products and services today and which we, as producers, need to emulate.
A dangerous and futile task in a world obsessed by immediacy and making a quick profit? No. It can be seen that if it is so that we as businesses need to persuade by dubious advocacy rather than demonstrate by evident truth then we can see that our businesses are ephemeral at best or in decline at worst. Inner truth, like perceived beauty, will always be in the eye of the beholder and we each and every one of us judges by what we see to be true rather than what others tell us is fact.
We must make of ourselves strong things if we are to last the course and project our values into the future. And be better men and women as a consequence.