Gucci and adidas have produced a designer umbrella that retails for a cool USD 1,290. It’s so costly, that on its web site web page, Gucci gives a month-to-month fee plan. (For an umbrella.)
The “solar umbrella” has acquired quite a lot of criticism, notably in China, as a result of it doesn’t defend you from the rain. To be honest, Gucci does say as a lot on its web site. “Please word, this merchandise just isn’t waterproof and is supposed for solar safety or ornamental use”. Curiously, as of the writing of this submit, the printable product description for the product doesn’t embody that wording.
I’d by no means contemplate paying something close to that worth for an umbrella. Apart from, I’m proud to make use of the umbrella that I acquired from the Swiss Crimson Cross for being an everyday blood donor. (For individuals who don’t converse French, the writing under says, “Giving blood saves lives”.)
Apparently, there’s a ready checklist for the umbrella – Gucci’s, not mine. So who am I to inform Gucci what merchandise it ought to and shouldn’t supply? An organization based in 1921, with over 17,000 workers and that generated €9.62 billion in gross sales in 2019 clearly is aware of what it’s doing.
Nonetheless, the Gucci “solar umbrella” and the backlash that it generated received me fascinated by an vital lesson for public audio system. and one about which I’ve written earlier than.
Be easy, be clear
Gucci calls the product a “solar umbrella”. I imagine that the general public relations drawback that Gucci now faces stems from its use of the phrase “umbrella”.
I wager that most individuals who hear the phrase “umbrella” consider one thing that may hold them dry when strolling within the rain. Utilizing the phrase “solar” as an adjective would possibly lead folks to moderately anticipate that they may use the product to guard towards each solar and rain.
The place I come from, an merchandise that you just carry to guard your self completely from the solar is named a “parasol”. It’s produced from totally different materials than these used for an umbrella. This text explains the variations between umbrellas and parasols.
Clearly, Gucci knew precisely what it had in thoughts when it created the “solar umbrella”. However, as the general public response has proven, many individuals thought that it was one thing else.
As audio system, we must not ever assume that the viewers will simply perceive issues the identical approach that we do. Issues which might be clear to us won’t essentially be clear to the viewers. How will we bridge the hole?
My due to my buddy and fellow public speaker, Rob Willis, for bringing this problem to my consideration. Rob has drawn some fascinating public talking classes of his personal from the Gucci “solar umbrella”. I invite you to examine them out on LinkedIn.