take on the challenge and responsibility for marketing, one of the most
important lessons is to learn how to think counter intuitively.
What exactly does that mean?
intuitive thinker is seeing things contrary to convention. If everyone is
selling ketchup in a bottle right side up, what happens when you invert the
bottle on the shelf? Suddenly, your brand is different, it stands out and most
importantly, you have a compelling story to share. Ketchup flows best upside down
and since a traditional bottle is inverted, why not just design a bottle meant to stand upside down?
in your category does things one way, how can you be different? What is the zig
to everyone else’s zag?
If there are
4 florist shops in a town, how can you find a meaningful way to do the
unconventional, the unexpected and get noticed in the process?
Think about these six thought starters in considering a counter intuitive approach:
BE NAÏVE AND IGNORANT: It can be helpful
to unlearn your category and pretend you
don’t understand the rules. There is nothing like forgetting how everyone does
something to find a new path.
MVP – Consider the minimum viable
product so you can build/break/learn quickly
with a new products. Eric Ries’ book The
Lean Start up stresses the idea that getting a product into the marketplace
quickly (build), see how it works (break) and gain new
LOTS OF OPTIONS - Do you have
enough paths forwards to evaluate or are you seeing only one way? It is hard to
challenge a single idea when everything depends on it. If you have a big decision to make, consider
several options at one time. The counter intuitive approach may emerge from
blending the best of several ideas into one.
BE AWARE OF THE ANECDOTE: Patterns are hard to see from a single
data point. You need input from many relevant perspectives to find a fresh path. Something unconventional might not appear
with a small sample like a focus group or a few interviews. How can you get the
power of crowds giving you richer thinking about a topic?
TELL A DIFFERENT STORY: Change the
conversation from what everyone expects. Cirque du Soleil eliminated animals from their
circus. FlightCar pays you to park at the airport if they can use your car.
Warby Parker gives away a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair
QUESTION EVERYTHING AND ASSUME NOTHING: There is so much
wisdom in asking why over and over again. Challenging everything gives you a
chance to shine a light on a different aspect of a category that others may be
The opposite of
being counter intuitive is saying…
“Because that’s how we always did it.”
Ask people who
used to work at Borders, Circuit City or
Newsweek how that type of thinking worked out for them.
Notes: If you enjoy my posts, would you share it with your marketing friends? And check out my new book on Amazon. At $2.99 it is a great value. 21 useful lessons based on my marketing experiences. Thanks.
|There is an upside to some of |
my marketing ideas
Labels: Cirque du Soleil, counter intuitive thinking, FlightCar, Marketing Moments, unconventional thinking, Warby Parker