How Confucius Would Have Handled Design and Marketing

January 26, 2012

If you were ever subjected to a semester or two of Philosophy you're probably at least somewhat familiar with Confucianism, the philosophical teachings of Confucius. In the more than 2,000 years since the Chinese philosopher began recruiting disciples, his teachings have had major influence on globally-influencing decisions and spawned tens of thousands of one-liners (as any former reader of MAD Magazine is undoubtedly aware). Attribution is difficult, as is the way with all ancient texts, and it can't be said for certain that every writing attributed to Confucius was actually his. Regardless, most are generally accepted as aligning with his philosophy, so I thought it would be fun to share a few Confucius quotes that reflect how he would have handled design and marketing today. Confucius say: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I would say most graphic designers and marketers I know are, indeed, passionate about their work. “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” Just go to press already! “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” The importance of defining your target customer base. “Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.” The virtues of good customer service. “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Relax, the work will get done. The campaign will be a success. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” If at first you don't succeed, try, try again! Or, perseverance pays. “Study the past, if you would divine the future.” Learn from your mistakes and imitate your successes. “The superior man understands what is right, the inferior man understands what will sell.” Good marketing is honest marketing. Template of Conucius image used via Creative Commons license, Flickr user vincentraal

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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