I guess you’ll need to supply your own caption for this one!!

Slash3  This probably breaks the MRS code but here goes. Look I’ve even published a picture of a respondent without their permission…my conversation with Ben continued after the interview and I discovered several interesting things about him. One that he is a marketing professional, the second that he is a cabinet maker. The third that he is a former national air guitar champion.

One at a time then. With his marketing hat on he talked about how he’s got fed up with high involvement employment – employers who advertise for dynamic young professionals, who put a pool table and a juke box in the basement to show what a creative environment the office is, then expect 12 hour days from their staff 5+ days a week. He spoke appreciatively of offices which are clones of the Office TV series, full of David Brent type managers where the secretaries started to apply their makeup punctually at 4.45 in preparation for the journey home. Employment which demands nothing more from you than your labour. Perhaps this could be a positioning for some employers maybe even an agency or two. the trouble he said is that in the agency world there’s always fresh meat out of college who think the job is glamorous and are prepared to put in the hours. So every employer is the same, demanding high involvement so they can get more for their money. Considering the shortage of experienced people I wonder how effective a low involvement employment policy might be.

With his cabinet making hat on we talked about luxury products and the role of brands. Not everybody wants the label. It doesn’t cost that much to order something unique which doesn’t have a label. Is this superbrand or anti-brand I wonder?

And lastly he revealed his alter ego as Slash2 scourge of the oxgenated-axe circuit.

I’ve said this before but this is a classic example of lumpiness in a target audience.  Its the differences which made the conversation so interesting. Not the commonalities which were the official stuff of the research interview. And research conventionally overlooks this kind of richness because it doesn’t know how to capture it under industrial conditions. Probably because it can’t.

Sof if you have any interesting work for Ben – whether marketing, cabinet making or aerial manoevres of a Guns’N Roses variety mail me and I’ll ensure the message gets through. There has to be a job that uses all 3!

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