The case for seams

There’s a word cropping up in briefs, and at last – AT LAST! – it’s not pivot. It’s seamless.

Things need to be seamless, you see. Seamless and easy and convenient until, presumably, the point we’ve convenienced and seamlessed and perfected ourselves out of natural resources and a liveable climate.

That’s a whinge for another day, though, and this isn’t a whinge. It’s an exhortation. Find your seams, your brand’s seams, your team’s seams (imma poet) and make them sing. Make them, if anything, seamier.

I don’t mean, become a monumental pain in the arse. I mean, what are your strategy tics? What are the rough edges in the approach you take, the tools you use, and what are the rough edges in the experiences of the brands you work on?

My tics are several and largely uncommendable, but being lengthyish in the tooth, I’ve learned to make them work. One is that each project has a tool, framework, research approach or start point we haven’t used before as a team. That ends in a cul de sac as often as not, but we’ve tried something.

Another is that every single thing I work on I use some variation of a 4 C’s framework.

See, imperfect.

It works for brands, too. The ALDI checkout. The IKEA alan key. Things that grate, but are great because they’re memorable, sticky, a peak for the peak-end rule.

Be clear, be creative, but don’t be too convenient. Go full wabi-sabi on it: there’s poetry in the seams.

Written by Ali Tilling, Chief Strategy Officer – VMLY&R ANZ