Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Innovation rule #5: Don't fight gravity

I can’t tell you how many times, as a marketer, I’ve heard discussions that start with “how can we get consumers to…” Usually those sentences end with a desire on the part of the company to have consumers change in some way that is clearly beneficial to the company but of dubious benefit to the consumer.

This is nothing but an attempt to fight gravity. If consumers wanted more of your stuff, they would already have it. Instead of wondering how you can get them to change to make your life better, try and think about how you can change to make their lives better.

The music industry is a good example of this phenomenon. People started illegally copying and sharing music so the music industry decided that the best path forward was to sue their customers. Do they really think they are going to succeed in the effort to turn off the internet?! Again, this is an attempt to fight gravity. I don’t have the answer for them, but it sure as hell does not lie with fighting gravity. Instead, they should accept that there are changing norms, behaviors and expectations for value amongst today’s music consumers and figure out a way to deliver that value.

So don’t fight gravity. You will get very tired and then you will lose.

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