Re: What about the banner?

From: Phil Tanny <>
Date: Fri 14 Dec 2001 18:00:37 -0500

On Fri Dec 14, 2001 Jan Hviid Hemmingsen wrote:

>Actually this could prompt a question about whether rubbing
>people the wrong way (to exaggerate in this case) can be as
>effective or maybe even more effective than rubbing them the
>right way (whatever that may be)?

Ah, here's an interesting question.

Speaking only as a consumer (claim no knowledge of
branding) I'd propose that "an edge" can be a
helpful way to engage your audience. I know in my
own posts I'll sometimes state things as
declarations, rather than as the questions they
really are, just as a way to prod folks to engage
the point and contribute.

I'd guess the key here is that in the end we have
to find something appealing in "the edge"
somewhere. It's a dangerous line to walk, but
perhaps a great technique if you can pull it off.

To continue the example offered, I really know
little about Rob Frankel beyond what I've read
here. I have no idea if my impressions of the
"Frankel brand" reflect the reality or not but
here they are. Consider it consumer research!

First of all, energy. Rob makes frequent
contributions, and those contributions seem
infused with a certain level of energy. My
attention is earned.

Next, confidence. It's clear that Rob has sold
himself on his brand! :-) Some credibility is
earned here. If Rob can sincerely sell himself
(first things first) then he's got a shot at
selling my customer too, I reason.

The edge. Rob appears to have opinions. Lot's
of them. And yes, he's not afraid to honk his
horn, in his posts and sig. So here we have
hooks where we connect further to the Frankel
brand, or we find reasons to turn away, depending
on our own outlook and style.

Finally, and this is the important point I think,
I see cheerfulness. Rob's energetic opinions and
self promotion strike me as coming from an
enthusiastic friendly space. And I like
enthusiasm. And I like friendly. Thus the edgier
stuff is put in to that context, and is well

Of course, I haven't actually bought anything
from Rob yet. Sorry Rob, your sig just isn't
long enough! :-)

My guess is that "the edge" approach works much
better with men than women.

I come from a blue collar background where
expressions of intimacy and acceptance often come
in the form of statements like, "Why you must be
the sorriest ass carpenter I've ever seen in my
life!". The offline equivalent of "you ignornat
slut!" if you will.

Women, as a group, seem more oriented to consensus
and a softer style of communication. Though I've
noticed that those women who choose to become
carpenters are happy to join in with "affectionate
insult" mode once they are accepted in to the

OK, there's the gender generalization edge for this
post. I'll retreat to my bunker now to see if
the ordinance hits any interesting targets.


Phil Tanny,


Received on Fri Dec 14 2001 - 17:00:37 CST


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