If I asked you what Miley Cyrus and Warren Buffet have in common when it comes to brand building and PR, you'd probably think I was nuts. But both were the focus of recent posts about these things, and how a scientific approach can lead to a better understanding of coolness and candor.
The first article, What Makes a Brand Cool? related the now infamous Miley Cyrus MTV Video Music Awards performance, and asked a key question; here is an excerpt:
If you're still wondering what exactly happened at Sunday night's MTV video music awards... you're not alone. By traditional marketing measures [it] was a huge success... one of the most tweeted events of the year, generating up to 306,000 tweets per minute and 4.5 million social media mentions... Miley’s just released new single jumped to the top of the Movers and Shakers list on Amazon on the news. And if you didn’t know what twerking was before, you probably do now. But is any of this cool?
The article explored hot vs. cool, ingredients of cool, and cited a study: Coolness, an Empirical Investigation (it tickles me to see "cool" analyzed in such a clinical way; a little oxymoronic, like seeing the Geico Gekko splayed on a dissection board, guts spilling out).
The second article, Lauren Rittenhouse's Candor Analytics, explains how she experienced a eureka moment while reading a Warren Buffet shareholder letter. Buffet, of course, is known for his straight talk. She came up with the brilliant insight that studying his communications style can lead to a better understanding of the ingredients of candor - and thus was born the field of candor analytics:
Adapting techniques used by forensic investigators and SEC analysts to determine whether someone is telling the truth, the system awards points for words, phrases, and linguistic patterns that indicate transparency. The system also deducts points for FOG, or “fact-deficient, obfuscating generalities”––clichés, jargon, incomplete explanations, euphemisms, platitudes, and contradictory statements.
FOG - I love it! But is the acronym an example of jargon that we want to avoid?!!!