by Kenneth Rudich
If all things in life were equal, there’d be no need for marketing. In fact, there’d be no place for it.
After all, what purpose would it serve to pitch a product that offers the same benefits at the same price as compared to every other one like it in the market?
What could you possibly say to make it stand out? “The thing that distinguishes our product from their’s is…well…ummm…actually…(gulp) nothing.”
Worse than that, everything being equal would leave life feeling somewhat hollow.
It’d be a disaster for sports. Imagine if events like the World Series or the Super Bowl were decided with the teams agreeing to agree they all deserve the title. Instead of battling it out on the field they’d just simply shake hands and share it.
If all things were equal, coin flips would lose their remarkable ability to settle disputes. The unlikely outcome of a coin standing on edge at the end of a toss would become as common as the sight of a star in a big constellation.
If all things were equal, the only quandary a consumer would ever encounter while shopping is the choice of picking between Bland A…Bland B…or Bland C.
all things are not equal
The U.S. Declaration of Independence is famous for insisting all men are created equal.
It does not however say that all things are created equal. Men may be created equal, but products and services are definitely not.
Unequal can sometimes – many times – be good, even beautiful. As in this product has a higher safety rating. Or this one offers greater comfort. Or this one shows you have exquisite taste.
Marketing owes its existence to the beauty of unequal. When it translates into having something better to offer, it fuels consumer preferences, and consumer preferences in turn breathe life into marketing. It’s the very essence of a symbiotic relationship, a thing of real beauty when you get right down to it.
marketing the un-bland
Because it’s in our DNA to chase the carrot, to stretch, to strain, to reach, marketing does us a favor by turning Bland A, Bland B, and Bland C into Brand A, Brand B, and Brand C.
Think about it. Wouldn’t you really rather face the choice of picking between a Brand than a Bland?
The ideal of equal works well when properly applied. But remember, unequal has its own legitimate place in the world. And Marketing-Strategy-Management happens to be one of them.