Our very cool designer Kate has a great eye for very cool things, so when she forwards something, I know she’s not going to let me down. Today was no different.
She’s a very visual person (which is good, I guess, because she creates visual stuff for a living), but when she sent along this video by Volkswagen about an initiative the company’s doing, she also made me realize how important a great words or phrases can be to bring visuals to life.
Sounds a little backwards, since we usually think it’s the photos or videos or designs that bring words to life, but by coining the term “Fun Theory” in its latest initiative, Volkswagen turns a cool visual into a memorable articulation of Volkswagen’s business philosophy. In short, the term gives the video essential purpose and context. The Fun Theory holds that “[we] believe that the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better is by making it fun to do.”
Now I’ve been around enough jargon-y executives to assume that the jargon-y executives at Volkswagen throw around their share business-speak in the boardroom, but when it comes down to how they innovate, Fun Theory probably pretty much covers it.
That’s why coining terms and developing a brand lexicon is so important. It’s a direct reflection of culture, and it builds a language that’s native to the brand and its people. It helps the consumer understand purpose. It gives the consumer context. And most of all, it makes big corporations seem a little less corporate.
(Well, I guess so does a talking Beetle…)