A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

The idea for (and name of) the dunce cap comes from a 13th-century philosopher named John Duns Scotus, who, as his name suggests, was born in Duns, Scotland.

This well-respected but terribly oblique scholar felt that conical hats actually increased learning potential. He claimed that knowledge is centralized at the apex and then funneled down into the mind of the wearer.

Duns was an inveterate hair-splitter and came up with terms like "thisness." He was widely praised in his day, but eventually fell out of intellectual favor. His "duns cap" was an obvious target of derision and came to symbolize stupidity.

Without an understanding of and respect for the consumers who own your brand, you might ultimately share Duns’ distinction of believing in an erroneous idea to such an extent that you become the source of public humiliation.

Talk to us. We can help.