Seth Godin, the famous icon who popularized opt ins and permission marketing and very successfully conceived the idea of hybrid publishing just came out with this blog: (I extracted only a portion of it.)
A tacky mess: the masses vs. great design
Left to its own devices, the mob will augment, accessorize, spam, degrade and noisify whatever they have access to, until it loses beauty and function and becomes something else.
The tragedy of the design commons.
An Apple product designed with user feedback would have thousands of extra features, multiple input methods and weigh 18 pounds.
(The best exception to this rule are some--not all--places where people live, including parts of Manhattan and Kibera, Kenya. But even in the best instances, as soon as commercial interests are served, it starts to fail).
It seems democratic and non-elitist to set it and forget it and let the users take over. But the tools we use (Wikipedia) and the brands we covet (Nike or Ducati) resolutely refuse to become democracies.
Note the profound meaning in the words: resolutely refuse to become democracies.
Our high technology society has given us a brand landscape studded with similar clones where we peddle the same products touting enhanced benefits; giving rise to what Youngme Moon describes as category connoisseurism. Never in the course of written history has there been such abundance of choices in a single category. There are more upgrades, flavors, add-ons, new and improved features between brands in a category that all looks the same. They have managed achieved the sameness of the flat lands of North Dakota and the exhibiting industry is no exception to that. Consumers, are now category connoisseurs. Again, in the words of Moon, “connoisseurs can discern subtle differences based on nuanced asymmetries”, while an ignoramus will lack the necessary know-how to predict differentiating subtleties.
When a a brand creates a competitive advantage in a category, it gains rapid momentum. A momentum orbits around expectation and anticipation that leads to the longevity of a brand. Competitive advantage comes with a value proposition that is highly valued and not in abundant supply. We are proud to say that Envoy III is one such design leap in the pre-fabricated world of booth designs with a value proposition that will help brands to break away from the limiting norms of exhibiting and helping our clients to be perceived with expanded frame of reference. A definite delineation from the mediocrity of the masses.