The arguments for creating digital content for businesses and organisations often centre around short-term return on investment. It’s often felt that content is necessary, but its creation can be considered a role for junior staff, as its quality is not too important…
On Twitter, back in 2013, I tweeted a stray thought about content creation. It’s a view I rarely attempt to articulate when talking to clients about their content strategies.
The tweets were:
Today I was reminded of these tweets when reading an article by Rory Sutherland. He writes about the Kano Model and buying a cassette player:
“Invariably we bought the cassette player with the most elegant eject action. If it gracefully whirred open with a sweet damping movement, that was a clincher. Any device in which the cassette holder lunged open with a ‘clack’ was rejected as manifestly rubbish.”
Why we did this, writes Rory, can be explained by the Kano Model, that says: “different attributes of a product or service have wildly different effects on customer satisfaction, and that elements only tenuously related to a product’s main function may have an immense influence on whether people think it is good or bad.”
Which means: “The extent to which a business cares about the finer details of what they are selling is rather a good clue to the psychology of the seller; just as you get a better idea of a person’s character by noticing how they behave when no one’s watching, so you get a better idea of a business by judging the things it does which aren’t strictly necessary.”
It’s the previous line that’s a rarely articulated argument for creating high quality content and it’s why your business blog should not be left solely to the interns. The fact that your business can employ real writers (for example), who can communicate with style, is a good sign that your business is fit enough to trade successfully and can be trusted to deliver.
As Rory writes: “Successful private sector organisations usually follow the Kano model — they learn to practise selective, symbolic inefficiency because customers like it better that way. The problem with obsessing too much about… ‘efficiency’ is that you become trapped by ‘intrinsicism’: the belief that the value of a cassette deck lies solely in the quality of sound reproduction.”
So, producing high quality content may be necessary after all. Remember, clients and customers “get a better idea of a business by judging the things it does which aren’t strictly necessary.”
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