Alright, so I’m sure that those of us who haven’t binge-watched Netflix’s Nailed It have at least seen the trailer. Time-pressed and inexperienced contestants are tasked with recreating mouth-watering, magical masterpieces out of cake. Sheepishly, they reveal their creations, and 10/10 they’re fantastic flops.
You’re probably wondering how this has anything to do with the marketing landscape… but settle in for this 2-minute ride, as I try to connect the dots for you.
Let’s set the scene, a new #challenge has just gone viral on TikTok, one of the Kardashians have “broken the internet” in a new way, or Instagram has just released a new feature. Client is applying pressure to jump on the b®and wagon. And you’ve just been invited to a 2-hour long meeting. This’ll have to wait. Plus, you still need to put the brief in and get the CE signed off. By the time it’s been booked into the system, reviewed, tweaked, and reviewed again, it’s been overcooked and those ‘new’ additions to socials have already been overtaken by the next new thing, and the trend you were trying to coattail off, is dead.
Something that’s not so ‘new’ is the consumer mindset and quest for progress over perfection. The general mantra is that perfection is generally unattainable and off-putting, that exercising for 2 minutes is better than being overwhelmed by 20 minutes and not doing it all, that doing half the dishes is better than aiming to clean the whole kitchen and ‘procrastinating’ yourself out of starting at all, that smaller milestones are achievable and manageable.
The question is, can brands adopt and embrace progress over perfection? More importantly, should they? Also, what does this have to do with a cake show?
With the ever-evolving digital landscape, it’s hard for brands and their agencies to keep their pulse on every channel’s proverbial heartbeat and algorithm update. It also means that the same approach the brand invested in last year, definitely didn’t factor in what’s being double tapped and downloaded as you’re reading this piece. With social media doomsday articles in circulation like The End of Social Media and the Rise of Recommendation Media and Trends are dead, one thing becomes glaringly clear, the pursuit of perfection in relation to virality for brands is often a very difficult ask with processes often killing time before hitting ‘share’.
What brands and their agencies need to consider is an agile and flexible approach, that allows for colouring outside of the lines, because as ‘new’ features and channels are launched, the only way to understand them is to make use of them and going live is our very own interpretation of progress over perfection. What a brand can learn from simply putting something out there is better than waiting for the ‘perfect’ execution. And whether it’s a fantastic flop or magnificent masterpiece, it’ll still taste delicious.