Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Blooming marketing

Memetics has access to a plethora of negative words to describe the spread of ideas.

"Viral", "contagion" and "epidemic" are some of the most commonly-used terms. These draw on the language of epidemiology. There are also words to describe rapid growth sometimes exhibited by these systems: "explosion", "boom", "ignition" and "wildfire". These terms are associated with fires and explosions.

Unfortunately, a lot of these terms are pretty negative. This is unfortunate - since we know that ideas were - on average - positive among our ancestors - since humans have idea-collecting and spreading adaptations.

Marketers would probably prefer not to use such negative terms. After all, they are typically trying to hook consumers up with producers in win-win deals - and not trying to infect them with some kind of deadly plague.

So: what positive terms are there out there? Not so many, alas. After surveying the positive terms for growth: "branching", "budding", "sprouting", the most appropriate positive term I managed to find was "bloom" - as in "algal bloom".

So, perhaps in the future, positive marketing campaigns will bloom - and then bear fruit.

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