Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Designed to sell

Something that tries to do one thing but that actually causes the opposite effect should not really happen that often you think about it.  Its ironic... literally.  It s a bit of a balls up to have to explain to someone that the measures that you introduced didn't have the desired effect.  Nor did they have any other kind of positive effect.  In fact the only effect they had was the exact and total mirror image of what you set out to achieve.  Its does not make for a good story.

In simple terms why does this happen?  You could put it down to trying to hard.  If you really want something to happen then chasing that alone would actually preoccupy you from spending time and effort on the things that were most likely to be productive towards that goal.  

A good example would be that it takes men at least until they are 25 and possibly later to realise that getting really drunk is not necessary the best way to attract women.

You can draw the same parallel in art.  The harder you try to create a commercial success the less chance you have of creating a master piece.  Most of the worlds greatest and most valuable art first changed hands for a pittance.  

To some extent the same is true of marketing and business.  The more directly that you try and  chase sales the more this goal becomes difficult to attain.  The most successful companies are often the ones that are led by a bigger strategic or personal vision rather than by following the market blindly in the pursuit of immediate sales success.  But this is a difficult position to uphold in a meeting where you have to convince people that you need to take on a big new cost or turn down a big new contract not because you know that this will work best in the long run, but that you think it just might.  If you own the company you can do it; or if you are given the same kind of freedom.  However most kinds of corporate entities don't work like that.

The only answer that i can put forward to encourage the kind of bravery and counter intuitive thinking is a strategy that is so well ingrained and articulated that it would be unthinkable to shift off course just by a little.  Every company needs to know its purpose or reason for being with as much conviction as any personal vision that an individual might have.  Once you have this you would need to stick to it even until the point that it seems to be leading you in the wrong direction.  If the company purpose or reason for being is a good enough one then this logic says it should come good in the end.


No comments: