Form Follows Function in Marketing, Process, and Customer Service

We’re a very appearance based society and often lend too much weight to appearances. We judge books by their cover, but we don’t like every book we read. I agree that appearances are important, but they must be secondary to the underlying function or intention you’re going for.

  • Is a provocative and memorable commercial effective if no one remembers what was being advertised?
  • Will a book with stunning cover art be recommended by readers if the content is dull and boring?
  • Will you order from a company with a beautiful website whose shopping-cart doesn’t work?
  • Are you still impressed with a vanity 800 number after 30 minutes on hold?
  • Do you change your business procedures because your accounting software can’t handle your current ones (some people actually do this. If this is you, please call me)
  • Does poorly prepared food taste better when it’s plated stylishly?

Appearance isn’t trivial or worthless; it’s just secondary to the function. Atmosphere and plating can transform a $7 plate of food to a $30 plate of food, but if the food is terrible, your customers won’t be back. Always make sure you’ve got your functionality covered, then focus on how it looks. If you can get both, fantastic.