The Difference Between Slick & Cool

Companies always want to be cool, but few companies actually are. Most are predictable and boring.

If you're predictable and boring, and you ask an agency for cool, what you'll get instead is slick.

Cool requires only one thing: Be unique and do interesting things. Companies that are cool embrace their quirks. They don't find the latest trend and hop in front of it like a dude desperate to lead the parade. They add to the culture and remix it; they don't exploit it. The more you learn about a cool company, the more interesting they are.

Slick is different than cool. Slick looks like cool from across the room, but as soon as you talk to it, you realize it's just a veneer. Slick companies are the farthest thing from interesting. They're more concerned with appearing cool than being cool. It's a short term gimmick, and it never works for long. Once the veneer cracks, you're back to square one. Like Mitt Romney saying, "Who Let The Dogs Out", your customers can smell the inauthenticity.

So if you're a boring company looking to become cool. Don't expect that a slick flash website or cutting edge social media campaign will do the trick. You'll be slick, but definitely not cool.

Written by Adam Harrell on July 30, 2010


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Adam Harrell