Are You An Institution Or A Household Name?

It astounds me every so often that people, experts and beginners alike decide to become institutions instead of a household name.

Where´s the difference?

In the dictionary there is not much of a difference between institution and a household name, the discrepancy is in the public perception.

An institution, when associated with a person, is very often someone well known, you know they are there and you know their name, but that´s it. Just like any other institution such as universities -you know they are there, but you always wonder how they work.

A household name is someone like Tim Burton, in terms of brand it is possibly Kitchen Aid, you know you don´t need those every day but if you have to think of a brand that help you with what you intend to do - a household name is what comes first to mind.

Just like these brands or institutions we can shape our personality to be perceived in a similar way.

An example is the print-shop I visited the other week to get a canvas print faster than I would if I order online. The shop used to sell them readily prepared on stretcher, however I can do that myself and asked for a print without framing - they couldn´t readily name a price but a guessed number that was less than half of what mounted on stretcher would cost. When I wanted to pick up the final print, I figured they forgot to leave enough canvas to wrap it. WTF, just because I don´t want it wrapped doesn´t imply I don´t need it ready to be wrapped. Also I would have taken the wrong version and could have imagined to mount it on a wooden ground framed and so on, but they threw it away before I could even ask about it.

This is a perfect example of institutionalisation! First thing: they could have saved money and time by asking and being sincerely interested in what the client want. Secondly: They could cut costs by offering the first wrong print to a reduced price.

That is essentially what institutionalisation does, you can´t keep track of what is important to you. A fixed income and working time from 9 to 5 is more important than happy customers. If that is you, become a household name.

People with a household name, such as Brom, Tim Burton or Hans Zimmer are in demand because of their passion for what they do. They can only become better because every project they get offered is targeting the direction they want to go anyways.

As institution, you never get this far.

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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook


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