According to recent research done by Harvard University, we are seeing the rise of a new phenomenon: The Humblebragger. Gone are the days when holidaying in the South of France meant you’d made it big, today if you are a real big dog it’s because you are
Anecdotally this isn’t going to come as a surprise to any of us – Ruby Wax aptly joked about this newly formed social currency in her book A Sane New World back in 2013. She said it all (in her typically Waxy way): “People ask me if I’m busy, I tell them, ‘I’m so busy I’ve had two heart attacks’. They congratulate me on this achievement.”
It’s been interesting, from our perspective, to observe how brands have reacted to this epidemic. From advertising (e.g. The Wall Street Journal’s “People who don’t have time, make time to read the Wall Street Journal”); to Siri (too busy to type); to Starbuck’s mobile order (too busy to wait); to TaskRabbit (too busy to do). Brands eagerly tapping into this new confluence between impatience and shrinking attention spans AND busyness as a badge of honour.
For agencies like ourselves, this can lead to a new phenomenon we call ‘too busy to brand’. Clients hoping to take branding shortcuts in order to get to market as quickly as possible, before their prospects’ fleeting gaze moves onto something newer and flashier. And though coming up with an imagination-capturing and commercially impactful brand idea can happen in an instant, it usually does take a reasonable investment in time and energy. There’s nothing as complicated as simplifying your message, as they say. And you only have one chance to get it right.
All of us busy-bodies know only too well that rushing things often means a time-consuming do-over further down the line…
– To anyone who kindly comments on this blog, apologies if we are too busy to respond –