The assumption paradox

It’s easy to assume that your customers love your brand, that they are loyal, that they have every reason to continue doing business with you, that they want the next upgrade. It’s easy to assume that no-one noticed or cared about that little slip-up or that if they did, they understood. It’s easy to assume that your customers will continue to want what they have always wanted. Or that they will never want something back.

It’s easy to assume that everything is fine – that privacy is beyond risk, that people don’t need to know that your phones could potentially track movements, that hackers can’t break into your online games, that people’s details are safely encrypted, that the takeover bid is too low, that your shareholders want to stay or that the market will continue to rise – or fall.

If we each had to worry about the alternatives to each of these things all of time simultaneously, we’d go mad. So we assume. And it’s easy to do so because assumption is simply an expression of our individual worldviews. In choosing to see the world a certain way, we each make assumptions, form schemas, to fill in the blanks.

We have to.

The paradox is that while assumptions equalise our world, not all assumptions in that world are equal.

The dilemma for any brand is to sift the assumptions it must make in order to bind its customers together and efficiently achieve its goals as a business from those that it must break with in order to offer a distinctive and competitive alternative to what everyone does; to what everyone else has assumed for too long.


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