Vices, Behavior, Positioning

Every morning I drink more coffee than I probably should. I don’t think about the way the caffeine eats my insides, stains my teeth, spikes my caffeine levels or gives me a dull headache I choose to ignore for the rest of the morning. Instead, I’m hooked on the black stuff because it tastes good, I enjoy the routine, and it perks me up a bit – it’s instant gratification.

I also don’t make much of a beef to those that enjoy their nightly drinks, cigarettes, cuss like a sailor, or stare insensitively at attractive passer-bys even though all of this behavior may not be in societies best interest. There are tons of “help” for these people however, and oodles of books and professionals who can help you correct or change your behavior.

As a marketer however, it’s way too expensive to change a user’s behavior. Selling a product that only is beneficial to non-smokers to a smoker for example, is infinitely more difficult than selling a product that caters to the smokers directly. Common sense maybe, but not always top of mind when the strategic product teams get in a room and decide the direction of your companies offerings.

If you’ve introduced a new brand, product, or way of doing things, unless every star aligns, or you work for a global powerhouse brand like MSN or Apple, good luck changing people’s status quo behavior. In fact, effective marketing isn’t about changing the way people behave, its understanding why they behave the way they do and positioning yourself within that pattern.

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