• Kirsten Johnston

Solving problems

During one of my recent long-distance drives I was listening to a interview with writer and marketing guru, Seth Godin. Although not what you could call my pet area (!!), it was interesting and gave me food for thought.

Seth’s basic tenet is that, through marketing, we are solving a problem that our customer (what a horrendous word in my context!) has. This is, I guess, the basis of the advertising that we see everywhere. So, if we’re solving a problem that buyers have, what problems do MY buyers have that might prompt them to purchase what is, essentially, the most discretionary of items?

Perhaps they need a gift for someone. Perhaps they have a blank wall and have been looking for something to fill it. Generally though (but I could be completely wrong here), I think often buyers don’t have a problem they are trying to solve until they see a work that they simply must have. That then becomes the problem and the solution is, unexpectedly, in front of them.

So what does that mean for me and my practice? Well, I’m not sure that it would essentially change what I plug away at. My experience is that it is impossible to predict what people will love so it would be foolish at best, and inauthentic (for me) at worst, to try to create specifically for a market – in my type of work, anyway (it works for some people, and that’s great).

And now, as a result of all that, I think about each thing that I buy (even milk!!) with new insight!

Until later,


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