It is said the human race has moved from being hunter gatherers into farmers, but is one so different from the other, isn’t it just the natural human instinct to protect what you have. Human nature still sees us hunt down the next opportunity to invest our lives in, then to hoard gains - just in case.
As in any race some are just better at it than others. That means gains become surpluses, a surplus then has value that can be traded. Trading then gets rewarded; those rewards get invested in producing yet more gains.
To keep the momentum going, the message gets passed along, so others can benefit from this trading.
Quite naturally others see this happening and want to achieve similar, so the process starts, the race as in human race starts to take on a life of its own.
For a while it all makes sense, those that replicate the original also gain. The message of what’s available spreads quicker as more and more are sending it out. So more (consumers) arrive to take advantage while they continue their own race in a different direction – the need grows.
As this is a race, these producers want their offering to be the first across the finishing line, a different choice maybe, a more beneficial choice even, but the first choice. You could say Marketing is born.
It could make sense to turn up in the same market place as the dominant player, after all there is just a chance by shadowing them some of their magic might come your way.
Meanwhile down the road there is an upstart setting up their stall on a different playing field in the path of those looking for the market, as such get the pitch to themselves. So, the advantage moves to this upstart. The upstart gets to grow ahead of market expectations, while the shadow is still surviving on others scraps.
Then as competition gets going, the original, the establishment if you like, either rises to the challenge with a better offering for the consumer or creates road blocks to deter would be challengers.
The challenge method recognises it is not a company but the consumer that causes growth, profit and pays for the future. The consumer then is offered ever better performance, more choice and sees this message kept in front of them at every turn.
The deterrent method sees the markets calmed, consolidated, removing competition, the establishment seems to be doing well, with less active players, sales rise. It’s also time for the establishment to take stock, as the market is now theirs, and as the market is playing to their rules this means there is some cost saving to be had - do we really need the expense of sending messengers out.
The contradictions. Less active players and a rise in sales gives the perception of an increasing market. The reality, less players to create and market the desire, causes the market to shrink.
The biggest contradiction is the playing field. There is an assumption that because we treat every member of this human race as equal, it doesn’t mean they are, in fact they are all unique. As such they are all on different playing fields, with individual beliefs, desires and objectives to fulfil. As such their route to market is equally varied.
The bare bones reality is it is the consumers that create companies, create its money, provide for their future. To find the consumer does a company play follow my leader or become the leader. Clone the competitors marketing or create marketing of their own.
At first what comes next might seem odd statements, then look around at the market, how other companies market, how your company markets, the styles and trends being followed, then the statements become all so true. It is as if everything is managed by the same committee regardless of company.
So many lookie-likes how would the consumer tell the difference, surely they are all the same so the cheapest is best
Should a Company with a High Street showroom let the competition use this space for their products or do they keep it exclusive? Do they share or use common customer prospect information with their competitors or develop their own? Do you share your game plan and strategy before kick off?
The farmer is also the hunter gatherer. Producers who let themselves get restricted to one playground, someone else’s playground, end up with someone else’s rules and their cast offs, missing the point - no one told the consumer.