The Wise Woman Of The Village

This is my sister in law’s chair. And every evening, for about an hour, she sits in it dishing out the best marketing advise in the world. She’s not a consultant. She’s never been in advertising, design, marketing or anything to do with branding. In fact she works in Admin for an insurance company.

So why is she such a marketing guru? Well simply because she’s at the sharp end of the business – slogging round Morrisons after work on Fridays, buying all she needs for next week. She hates shopping, has no time for fancy cooking and lives on a limited budget. A bit like most people.

So for her, all the stuff we agonise over in meetings, are just means to ends. They are there to help her. Design is there to help her find things, advertising to tell her about new things and promotions to make things cheaper.

I call her the wise woman of the village. She listens to me talking about the stuff I’m working on and dishes out sane and logical advise. She counterbalances perfectly the bollocks we all utter in our day jobs. Like the other day when I was going on about how fresh cook-in sauces were so much better than powders, because they were ‘realer’. She looked up at me, over her half moon spectacles, and said – ‘know that meal you just ate. The one you were scraping the pattern off the plate? Well that used a Schwartz dry sauce’.

We all need a wise woman of the village just to keep things real. That concept you’re writing. Read it out to them. That new product idea? Show it to them. It doesn’t beat proper research but it helps keep business thinking real.