Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Taxonomy Is Destiny

Three years of global recession followed by a tepid recovery for most marketers has reduced our willingness to see beyond the immediate or the obvious. Those of us lucky enough to be buyers have been inundated with ideas, people, products and services all seeking to meet our expressed need.

Yet in sorting through the options a huge number of us have been unwilling to consider an idea, person, product or service that doesn’t exactly meet our specifications. Widespread availability has reduced our willingness to “do the math” or to think beyond simple sorting. If we need a red square and you are a red square you get a serious look. If you are a square that isn’t red, or isn’t red yet or who can be red and other colors too … forget it.

Too many of us know about the right idea, the right person, the right product or the right service that was ignored or was sorted out of consideration by a marketer looking for the easy way out. And many of us know of circumstances where the chosen solution fit the specifications exactly and performed miserably. In a world of infinite possibilities and limitless information, it’s unsettling to witness or be party to rote or default decision-making.

This uneasy state of affairs has increased the ever-present burden of definition and positioning which is now and always has been squarely on the shoulders of sales and marketing people pushing brands and/or pushing themselves. We have always had to define and introduce ourselves, our features and benefits, our competitive advantages and our points of distinction and differentiation. We were always taught to define ourselves before the market or our competitors did so for us. Today we have to define and differentiate ourselves more often, more nimbly and more emphatically to avoid being quickly and carelessly sorted by default.

15 Comments:

Blogger Brent said...

have you considered folksonomies?

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