15 Jan The Pickle – Words that make a difference
There she was looking proudly at the new prototype which had just arrived from the lab. It may just be a bottle for a new drink, but not to Sarah. She had worked so hard on every element of this bottle: its ergonomic shape, its soft touch material, it’s perfectly flushed cap, the design….oh the design – how they all slaved over it! The design team tackled 10 rounds with the agency, and everyone else was running around doing focus groups, shop visits, tradeshows to find inspiration. The focus groups were expensive but then again, every element of this product has been costly. Ah, but it is all worth it when you look at this beautiful prototype!! Months of Sarah’s life went into this piece of plastic, how extraordinary.
Five minutes later, Sarah’s boss walks into the room. He picks up the prototype and starts to giggle and says: “It looks good, but for some reason this shape reminds me of a big fat juicy pickle.” Everyone starts to laugh. Even Sarah. The bottle does not look like a pickle, but now that her boss mentioned it, nobody can get it out of our heads, much as they try.
What do you think happened next?
The prototype was rejected, many months of work and peoples time were wasted, the companies relationships with their suppliers became strained and 1000s of pounds were flushed down the toilet. But worst of all…..Sarah missed her deadline and the product didn’t hit the market for another 12 months.
All because of one off handed remark, which at the time was quite funny.
Courageous Conversations teach why people’s words matter, and how to choose the right ones. Words have the power to keep a company preforming well, or inefficiently.
Thank you for reading The Pickle – words that make a difference.