Everyone I know at the moment is Marie Kondo-ing the heck out of their living spaces.
Not a day goes by without someone sending me a picture of their perfectly ordered sock drawer. Surely there has never been a time in human history when people have been as proud of their storage solutions as they are in 2019?
One of Marie’s classic questions to the show’s participants is whether or not an item “sparks joy”. If it doesn’t, she invites them to get rid of it.
An upside of this Netflix phenomenon is that charity shops are seeing an upsurge in donations, but how can the Kondo-effect benefit your business?
Rethink your briefs
When approaching a brief it could be so easy to go for what you think the client would like, what would easily get sign-off or what you know has worked in the past. In the spirit of Marie, though, it’s really interesting and revealing to ask whether this idea / product / pitch really sparks joy for you?
For me, the personal items that would elicit the joy factor would be items which provoke strong feelings of happiness, amusement or even a bit of self-indulgent melancholy. In a recent cull of clothes, for example, some of the items with the highest production values were ditched in favour of some pretty basic ones. A nostalgic crew t-shirt from the indie band Shed Seven’s 1998 tour being one (actually in surprisingly good shape two decades on).
Another lesson to be learnt from Marie is that the simplest, clearest and cleanest homes take a significant amount of work. Getting them into good shape requires effort and some difficult decisions along the way.
It was reported recently that Dolly Parton wrote I Will Always Love You and Jolene on the same day. Sadly, most of us aren’t as prolific as Dolly. Ideas take time, edits and refinement to get right and stand the test of time.
A neat idea
So since we live in a world where we make value judgements on our socks, it feels even more important that we do the same for our work.
Before we send our ideas or products out into the world, perhaps we should hold them close in a Kondo-style and see how they make us feel. Would you still love that idea twenty years down the line? Does this product educe some positive emotions when you think about it? If it doesn’t, then perhaps it needs to go to the charity shop for un-inspiring ideas.
If it does “spark joy” for you it’s a good sign that you will be able to sell it to others with genuine enthusiasm, which will always light up a pitch.