Another word for it

Bartlet the great

Enough April’s Fools commotion, it’s time to get back to random musings about brands and ways to describe and promote that X factor which is differentiating brands that can’t deal with the new consumer, from the brands that can.

The word, today is integrity. Obviously, there’s a long history of the use of that word in philosophy. People have integrity when they act fairly and consistently and in line with a moral code.

But that’s not where I’ve come across it recently. That was within the context of lean software development and lean practices in general.

In such a setting, integrity is about making an internally consistent product (‘elegance’ and extensibility in coding terms)  – conceptual integrity, and one which is consistent with users’ expectations – perceived integrity.

Finding patterns that transfer from one discipline to another always surprises me – although in many ways I don’t know why. Such resonance can be very misleading too, encouraging the false thinking that things are the same because they have the same facets (necessary but not sufficient!).

But…(!)

How do we achieve perceived integrity in lean development? – by frequent feedback cycles, constantly bringing the user / customers feedback into what we do.

Put the user at the centre. Don’t just act like you are putting the user at the centre. That doesn’t mean you have to get the user to do it for you like “user generated advertising”. It doesn’t mean you have to let the user ride rough-shod over your brand or even let them publish to your site, it means that you should never do anything that the user doesn’t want.

We point out over and over again that advertising has been about user-insights which enpower advertising ideas (as it has been for decades). Well here we’ve managed to go a long way round to “the customer is always right”, whether you’re being all 2.0 or not.

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