In a recent friendly debate on Twitter on branding, I made the comment that it was the designers job to communicate his aesthetic. If nobody is buying, the designer has failed at their job.
Someone replied that the designers aren't being employed as communicators, but as designers.
Whether you are making leather jackets, or writing a story, taking a photograph or pitching a new app, you are having a conversation with an audience (and hopefully a customer).
And they will be thinking:
Why should I buy another leather jacket? (or consider even wearing a green scuba vest?)
Why should I read your book?
Why should I look at your photo?
You can argue that social media and technology has turned us all into ADHD, endless scrolling consumers of low brow humor.
Or you can accept that initial reactions to new technologies have historically been all comically wrong, and that it is your job as a creator to learn how to speak to people through new channels.
It's not that your audience isn't paying attention. You're just not giving them anything worth paying attention to.
(On a related note, Gary Vaynerchuck just released an amazing book on this very subject called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
This isn't a sponsored plug. I went and bought it myself and I read it in one sitting. I've been spending the last two days implementing changes to all my websites and social media platforms. I highly recommend it to anyone trying to get their voice heard. I thought I was pretty savy, but Gary will show you how much of an idiot you've been.)