making UU sticky
Our UU message is not "sticky" enough; we get bogged down in details and complexities when we try to describe the good news of UUism, according to Peter Bowden, who uses Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point to diagnose this issue. We already meet two of Gladwell's three criteria: the wounded and evolving world is the perfect context for our message, and we do have a sufficient number of passionate followers. Alas, our identity is too complex to be communicated easily; it does not stick.
Bowden (and his co-thinker, the Rev. Ms. Amy Freedman) came up with the following rebranded, sticky, UU identity:
"We bring diverse people together around shared Universal values.
Now you spring this on somebody and they are going to have questions. That’s cool… Answer the questions. What people? What values? And why?"
The rebranding comes from cognates of Unitarian Universalism--Unite, Universal. It doesn't remove the complexity or subtlety of our theology, it just moves it back in the conversation, so the sticky part comes first.
I am not convinced that our values *are* universal, and we aren't that diverse--but that's part of the conversation *after* the stickiness. Get it to stick first, then add nuance. And maybe, if that is the identity we tell ourselves, we will more easily become more heterogenous and more widespread.