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The limitations of rational man…

One of the problems with having spent most of my career in the oil industry is that it was a far too rational world – or liked to think that it was. There were lots of engineers, geologists and accountants to explain to you that managing was about input-process-output. In other words you came to proper business judgments by making sure that you had the right resources (the inputs); handling them properly (the process) and doing the right thing with the products of all this effort (the outputs). Business was a machine and the better designed and oiled and maintained that machine was the better you would do. But my world, the world of brand management, was less certain – much less actually. In promoting a brand you are only partly appealing to rational man – you are also appealing to emotional man and emotional woman. As David Ogilvy once memorably said “The consumer is not a fool – she is your wife”.
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