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Do It Like Diderot: Find Businesses Whose Signage Looks Out of Date

What signage pros can learn from the Age of Enlightenment philosopher.

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Diderot Do

The Diderot Effect refers to the way a newly purchased product often fails to deliver on the happiness it promised, instead causing our other possessions to suddenly look timeworn and in need of replacement. It takes its inspiration from an essay by Age of Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot, in which he laments how a new dressing gown has made his other clothes look like rags and he suddenly feels “discordant.” How can this psychological phenomenon work for a business selling signage? Well, we’d suggest keeping your eyes peeled for any businesses in your town that have recently done major interior redesigns. After a month or so, try calling to see how they now feel about their exterior signage. If Diderot was right, they might be feeling it’s a little “discordant” and you’ll have a new customer.

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