Ethos. Logos. Pathos.

Last weekend my son graduated from Loyola Law, and the keynote speaker reminded us of Aristotle’s directive to influence the listener when making an argument. Ethos, Logos, Pathos, the speaker repeated. In contemporary language: credibility, logic and motivation.

As I listened to his challenge to his audience, I thought, Isn’t this a wonderful credo for marketers everywhere?

Shouldn’t every argument (or pitch) we make to our customer be substantiated with credibility and authority?

Shouldn’t our customers be able to count on us to be truthful and factual in making claims about our product or service?

And what about logos, or logic, indeed the facts and statistics that support our argument, our reasons people should buy our product or service? Without these differences, are we not just selling a commodity with no distinguishing characteristics?

Certainly Socrates was ahead of his time when he concluded that without pathos, an emotional or motivational appeal to the listener, that the pitch would simply fall flat. If we aren’t passionate about our product or service, we can’t possible expect our customers to be.

Words of wisdom, indeed. And a pleasant aide-mémoire on a Saturday afternoon.



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