One of the things that really struck me as I’ve been watching some of the women’s gymnastics competitions during this Olympics is how grace is mostly gone. I suppose the same could be said about many small business marketing tactics.
The female Olympians compete with a primary emphasis on brawn. Floor routines are all about the tumbling lines with little attention to the presence and poise in between that used to separate winners from the rest.
Parallel bars focus on big moves rather than muscle control, agility and beauty.
Competitors today are expected to master all six disciplines, instead of being great in one. Height, power, muscle and precision have overrun the dance.
The gap that made women’s gymnastics distinctive from men’s is narrowing. Ordinarily, in our contemporary world where equal rights is a target, that would be a good thing. In this case, I don’t think it is. Women are built to excel at different things than men. That compelling choreography that evoked an emotional response made the routines special – and something men could never achieve.
Here’s a neat montage (about six minutes), chronicling the evolution of the uneven bars from the 50s through 2010:
As I watched the women gymnasts compete in the Olympics this year, reflecting in my own mind of how this has changed from years past, then cued this video, I felt a bit sad. Sad not only for a bygone era where differences were embraced and proudly broadcast but also for the current state where bigger, faster and higher – and sameness – are seen as better in all things, including small business marketing tactics.
The loudest and most visible (men) are swaying the masses toward template brawn small business marketing tactics. Being distinctive is still better in the small business realm. The artful dance of empathetic listing is what sets women apart (and some really savvy men too). Consider being attractive with your selling strategy. The world has become more equal, but that doesn’t mean different is wrong. Embrace the art of subtle sales that’s the beauty of relationship building.
Perhaps it’s this whole connected era where people want everything fast, big, screaming and exciting in 140 characters or less than two minutes that is contributing to this conviction that bolder, bigger and broader is better. Sometimes subtle and soft brings loads more revenue than brash.
Want a different perspective? Just take a look at how the balance beam competition has evolved as a women’s only sport. The increased degree of balance required (not something men often excel at) has resulted in more beautiful and breathtaking routines over the years:
Still think it’s best to be equal? Better to be outstanding independently to my mind. Have you taken a divergent path that’s proven to be more artful, eloquent and rewarding? Please share in the comments below. If you liked this post, please also consider clicking on the social buttons to the left. Thanks!