I came across a facebook ad this morning while having coffee that caused a reflection that I wish to share with all of you.
The product is marketed as a wall-hanging chessboard, large enough to serve as an interactive decoration. The photo quality was quite good in its own right, and so was the product itself.
It looked to be well constructed out of sturdy wood, with high-quality carved pieces that seemed to work magnetically to affix the pieces to the board so a game could be played while the board was hanging against the wall. The photo quality was crisp, edgy and spoke well to the esthetic of the room it hung in.
To most people, this passed the continuity test as a cool thing to have as a novel decoration. But to the intended audience of chess players, such as myself, one thing stood out to me immediately about a flaw in the marketing of this product – orientation.
The geometry of chess is one of the first things any serious, or even casual player, must learn before they can even set up their own games.
In the product shots, the board was oriented on its side, with the H1 square being on the bottom left, and H8 being on the bottom right, from the white player’s perspective. Therefore, the pieces on the board did not exist on their proper orientations for play, making the game being portrayed invalid.
This error on the part of product staging has an immediate negative effect on players who are familiar with the basics of the game because it communicates the subconscious message that the designer does not share the respect for the game the player does – to which they are marketing.
It is worth noting that this is not an intention of the marketing team, but rather a lapse in attention that has the downstream result of alienating the target market from their product through misrepresentation.
To be at your most effective, move past novel ideas and place yourself in a position to talk to the right people about the right things that matter to both of you.
Spray and pray will never work. You need to believe what you do to find the people willing to share the journey with you.
This will also ensure you remain competitive in the eyes of those whose attention you seek – at least for the most part.