What is context? And why does it matter to you and to your brands?
Context is the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular situation. The root of the word means to join like by weaving. It's really just a fancy word for "what's going on?"
For example, you may be reading something and come across an unfamiliar word. So you examine the word, especially how it's used in the passage, in "context," to figure out its meaning.
Take a look at this:
What is the character in the center? The letter B, right? Because we've got the alphabet "going on here." Okay, what's the character in the center of this image?
The number 13.
It's exactly the same datum, but we interpret it differently depending upon the surrounding context.
It's the same with any experience. When and where influences the what. A heavy rain during a prolonged drought is embraced by farmers. A rainy day at an outdoor wedding, not so much. Same rain, different context.
If you want your brand to connect with people, you must "join it" or weave it into their circumstances or situations in a finely-tuned way, in a way that makes sense and meaning at a particular place and time. It must be relevant and expressive in the moment they experience it; whether it is a piece of communication, a sample, or an interaction with a human being.
Being contextually sensitive is the key to making powerful connections with people. It's about being empathic. It's about finding others feelings deep inside of yourself and crafting communications and experiences that touch them in emotionally significant and meaningful ways, ways that add meaning, value and happiness to their lives.
Need an example?
Fundraisers and political supporters: Please stop calling me during dinner.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Please consider context.: