Making sure you say what you meant to say

Watching an episode of West Wing recently, and a couple of youthful campaign volunteers run in to show their boss, Will Bailey, a placard they’ve created, which reads:

It doesn’t matter how you vote – vote!

He suggests to them that while the overriding point is clear and the sentiment fine, the thing could perhaps be slightly more carefully worded. “How about ‘However you vote – vote!’, he suggests.

The scene reminded me of something I’d seen recently, but I couldn’t place it. Only on Saturday did it come back to me, while doing my weekend shop:


Now, I think Waitrose have some very capable people working on their comms – people who have helped craft and maintain one of the clearest and cleanest brand personalities on the high street. But I do wonder whether, as this would suggest, Waitrose have but one fundamental belief. Nor is there any real need to imply that they do. To me at least the thing also suffers from just a touch of stridency which I for one find out of keeping with that clear, clean and – no less crucially – calm and confident positioning. If it were me, I’d bring down the volume a tad, and take out the implied limitation on Waitrose’s beliefs, and go for, simply:

We believe few things in life are more important than the food you buy.