Chapter 9: Causing Demand to Spread on its Own
How would you like demand for your product or service to spread widely throughout the population or throughout your target market and for that kind of demand to spread on its own impetus, that would be quite an achievement and that's exactly what you'll be able to do after reading this chapter. Causing demand to spread on its own impetus, involves the two keys we discussed in the previous chapter: Style, Art, and Fashion being one and Influence types the other.
We're going to build upon what we learnt before. If it's been a while since you read the last chapter, let's review it. Your product or service combined with its marketing is exuding some level of style, art, and fashion (SAF) newness high or low.
When your level of SAF newness matches a particular influence type, people of that type are magically attracted. You recall those type ones are very receptive to style, art, and fashion newness.
In fact, they're the people that created it usually.
Type 2s are also receptive to SAF newness but less so than the ones. Type 3s really don't care about SAF newness, only when something has been around for a while do the threes adopt and type 4s are very averse to style, art, and fashion newness and pretty much avoid it altogether.
Also, keep this in mind, human influence spreads via person-to-person contact either directly or through the media. You are being influenced by what you see or hear others doing every day. Likewise, others are aware of your adaptive behaviour and are in turn influenced to do the same. Without human influence, almost no behavioural changes whenever occur.
One person would arbitrarily adopt a new behaviour like wearing a new style of shoe let's say and no one else would be influenced to do likewise. If there were no such thing as a person-to-person influence, we will be dressing today the same way our ancestors did a couple of hundred years ago or for that matter a thousand years ago.
Luckily for us marketers who want to sell lots of products and services, human influence does exist. And it is one powerful force indeed. In fact, your sales are affected greatly by each customer who influences another or many others.
The bottom line is, the level of demand for your product or service is being affected by human influence every minute of every day in one way or another and that is happening whether you have anything to do with that influence or not.
Given that fact, it certainly behooves you to harness human influence and get it working for you rather than ignoring it and living with whatever consequences occur on their own.
So let's harness it, control it and get demand spreading.
The first thing we're going to do is take our four influence types and lay them side by side to form a graph.
It's called the influence graph and you can see what it looks like when you attend one of my workshops, or just picture this graph in your mind.
On the left side is the type 1 range. It's thin because type 1s are only 10% of the population. The type 2 range is adjacent to the 1 range and on its immediate right.
The type 2 range is wider than the type 1 range because type 2s are 20% of the population.
Adjacent and to the right of the two ranges is the Type 3 range, it's wider yet because type 3s are 40% of the population.
Adjacent and to the right of the 3 range is the type 4 range. It's a little thinner than a 3 range because type 4s are 30% of the population.
We've just constructed the influence graph with each type lined up in succession left to right.
Now here's how it works, simply put type 1s influence the type 2s, type 2s, in turn, influence the type 3s and type 3s, in turn, influence the type of 4s. Thus adaptive influence moves from left to right through the influence graph which represents how it actually moves through the population.
Let's see how adoptive influence moves through the population.
I've chosen a real-life example from the music industry that goes back many years. I like historical examples rather than contemporary examples because we know how history turned out and in retrospect, we can see it with greater clarity. The behaviour we will examine, is the purchase of musical products from the rock group U2. This is how it spread throughout the population over time, which translates directly into sales of U2 music, concert tickets, t-shirts, etc
In 1980 and 81, U2 was popular among type ones in the United States the rest of the American population haven't even heard of U2 back then despite type 1 acceptance, U2 sold a relatively small amount of product in the early 80s since type ones only represent 10% of the population. As time went on and type ones displayed adoption of U2, type 2s became influenced to do likewise.
As 2's began buying U2 products, overall sales increased quite a bit by 1983. Up to this point U2 received almost no exposure on radio stations in the United States and don't forget that in the 1980s the internet as we know it now didn't exist.
However, MTV which was targeting type white 1s and 2s back then did embrace U2 and gave the band plenty of exposure. By 1984, adaptive influence began to spread into the type 3 range.
Once adoption crosses the line from the type 2 range into the type 3 range, the product or service in question becomes legitimate as far as mainstream media is concerned and that's exactly what began happening with U2, as many mass appeal radio stations began playing their music.
By 1985 and 86 adoption of U2 continued to spread throughout the type 3 range, along with that, sales continued to increase. By 1987, when the U2 album The Joshua Tree was released, the stage had been set for immediate type 3 acceptance. Mainstream media including all kinds of radio stations jumped on it, out of the box as they say. 2 songs from that album shot up to number one on the pop music charts, and sales of U2 products skyrocketed.
By 1988, after U2 had become one of the biggest bands in America, or the world over for that matter, type 4s began adapting. U2 product sales reached a peak around this time.
What we've witnessed so far is a classic one through four-movement of adaptive influence and the corresponding product sales but the plot thickens as there was even more behavioural occurrence going on during this time.
As U2's popularity spread throughout the type 3 and eventually the type 4 range, a very interesting occurrence developed.
The type 1s began abandoning the band. As type 1s are fond of saying: "If it sells it smells". Type 1s you recall, feel they are the cutting edge trendsetters. They take great pride in their individuality and will associate with things that set them apart from the masses. So when the masses adopt something, U2 in this example, the 1s felt compelled to disassociate.
Well, guess what, just as adoptive influence moves through the population, in the 1 to 4 direction, shunning influence can do the same. As the type 1s began showing U2, they, in turn, influenced the type 2s to do so. By 1988, 89 this shunning of U2 began moving through the population and corresponding product sales began to decline.
U2's next album called Rattle and Hum was purchased mainly by right-sided type 3s and type 4s and never was adopted by the type 1s. The plot continues to thicken, the band members who are tight 1s and 2s became very upset that people like themselves or showing them in fact like we're breaking up for a couple of years around 1989 1990 U2 was defunct until they got the idea of reuniting and creating a new album that would appeal to people like themselves. The result was the album called Achtung Baby, a 1s sounding name itself.
The music was so far left on the influence graph that type 1s adopted it immediately, declaring U2 is. Did Achtung Baby go through the influence craft as The Joshua Tree did a few years earlier? No, it didn't, not everything moved all the way through the influence graph. The adoption of Achtung Baby, sales in other words dropped off somewhere in the type 2 range never really made it into the type 3 range. Because the music was just too far left for the 3s, the same thing happened with U2's next album Zooropa. Type 1 and 2 adoption but no 3 or 4 adoptions.
U2's triumphant return amongst the type 1 and type 2 segments of the population continued throughout 1993, 94 and 95.
But product sales were considerably lower than in the mass appeal days, remember type 1s and 2s combined our only 30% of the population. You know the level of stardom that the mainstream media can anoint one with, not to mention packed concert venues and huge royalty cheques do have a certain allure especially when one has tasted that kind of success in the past.
So in 1997, U2 reversed direction again, their next album was called POP. A 3ish or 4ish for sounding name and the songs were mass appeals sounding and get this, they began doing promotional concerts at KMART stores.
Talk about going from one of the influence graphs to the other.
I have walked through the U2 example because it shows several different aspects of human influence, using the influence graph as a tool to follow it all.
To layout it the salient points I have mentioned:
First, I mentioned how a particular product can move through the entire influence graph, gaining adoption and increasing sales along the way. You also noticed that when the type 4s began to adopt, the type 1s began to shun. This shunning influence can move through the influence graph too.
Secondly, I mentioned that there is a resistance barrier. If adoption hits a resistant barrier, it stops moving through the influence graph at that point. I'll tell you now that the strongest resistance barrier is the line of demarcation between the type 2 and type 3 ranges.
If adoptive influence can break through that barrier it can probably sail right through the 3 range and well into the 4 range.
Thirdly, I mentioned that an artist can create a product that appeals to any influence type not just type 1s in other words they can be type 1 Art or type 2 art, type 3 art and type 4 art.
Let's take legendary painters as an example.
Salvador Dali's work was definitely a type 1 appeal.
Norman Rockwell paintings type 4 appeal.
How about fashion designers, Calvin Klein is type two appeal or perhaps even type 1,2, Ralph Lauren type 3 appeal, Eddie Bauer type 4 appeal.
Fourthly, we noticed that adoptive behaviour can start with any influence type. It doesn't have to start on the left end of the graph.
An example would be something you may see every October in some neighborhoods. I'm referring to those large Leaf Gathering bags that are decorated like Pumpkins, you fill the bags with leaves and then keep them sitting on your front lawn.
This particular behaviour began in the type 4 range and stays in the type 4 range, and finally, we see that adaptive influence and shutting influence always travels from left to right through the influence graph, never from right to left.
Let's discuss some specific strategies you can use to get demand and spreading throughout the population or throughout your target market.
The first is called the target left strategy.
I pointed out earlier that when your level of SAF newness, matches a particular influence type, people of that type are attracted.
That is the simplest way to implement all of this.
Craft your design elements using style, art, and fashion newness as the variable to match up with whatever influence type you want as your customers.
Now we're going to adjust that implementation for enhanced results, instead of targeting anyone's influence type head, why not shift your level of SAF newness one half an influence type to the left of your actual sales target. For instance, if you wanted to target Type 3, you'd actually raise your level of SAF newness somewhat so as to attract right-sided type 2s through left sided type 3s.
Have a visual depiction of this, by shifting your marketing target one 1/2 an Influence type to the left of your sales target, two advantages occur: first, you initiate adoption amongst hippier people than the ones you really want them to purchase.
In the example I've just mentioned, right-sided 2s would begin adopting because that's who your marketing is targeted to.
They in-turn would influence left-sided type 3s to adopt through that powerful person-to-person human influence.
Thus type 3s, your real sales target are affected by persuasion from two different sources, your marketing and other consumers who have already bought.
If on the other hand, you didn't shift your marketing one 1/2 an influence type to the left and instead simply targeted the type 3 range head on, type 3s wouldn't see any adoption from the people that influence them that is the type 2s.
Human influence wouldn't be affecting left-sided 3s at all.
Remember wherever anyone falls on the influence graph, they are influenced by people slightly to the left of them. You cause this to happen when you use the target left strategy.
The second advantage to the target left strategy is that you widely your potential buying universe to include more people.
Influence travels only to the right never to the left.
When you target a particular influence type head on that type and the ones to the right of it are potentially all you get but when you shift your marketing one 1/2 an influence type to the left, you add those additional people to it.
Through this entire chapter of influence types, you may have been wondering if it's possible for a product or service to appeal to all four types simultaneously. After all, if we could do that would have one monster of a seller wouldn't we? The answer is yes!
It can be done, examples include but are not limited to Pepsi the Batman movies, Levi's Madonna, Lady Gaga McDonald's, and Coors Light.
You'll be able to think of more examples before reading this article I'm sure. The secret to creating appeal throughout the entire influence graph is a strategy called new old balance.
You achieve a state of new old balance, you have to provide some SAF newness to satisfy type 1s and 2s and some SAF sameness to satisfy that type 3s and 4s.
As you might imagine, this isn't as easy as it sounds, it can be tricky and it can backfire on you if not done correctly.
Let's see how some marketers are able to pull it off. McDonald's is a pillar of stability and uniformity, you can walk into any McDonald's in the world and order Big Mac with fries and soft drink, the same items, prepared the same way they've been selling for decades.
A high level of sameness is depicted in McDonald's ads and commercials. They even show type 3s and 4s in their advertising.
All of this is type 3 and 4 appeals.
So how does McDonald's attract type 1s and 2s?
Let me tell you a little secret about type 1s.
They understand that the majority of the world's products and services are not directed to them. while the ones enjoy being different, they also realise they got to be flexible, so all it takes is a token tip of the hat, and type 1s will pay.
Architecturally, each McDonald's is uniquely different. I've been to a McDonald's that has an actual airplane inside and another store has a grand piano in it, plus McDonald's does use type 2ish people in some of the adverts.
While it's not enough to excite the type 1s and 2s, it is enough to get their business once in a while. That's what I mean by new old balance, just enough SAF newness to please type 1s and 2s and just enough SAF newness to please type 3s and 4s.
Coors Light usually runs more than one ad campaign at a time, some of their ads show wheatfields up in the rocky mountains and talk about the pureness of the water used to brew the beer, that's type 1 and left-sided two appeals.
Other ads use realistic scenes of trains and joyous party people. This is a right-sided 2 3 appeal and another, ad campaign shows a guy in a rustic-looking setting wearing a flannel shirt that is tight four appeal. Once again it's a new old balance.
One more example, the 80s television show Seinfeld which will probably be on syndication forever, as you know there are four main characters in The Show. As I name each, you tell me which influence type that person is Kramer, yes he's type 1, Elaine she's the type 2, Jerry type 3 and George is the type four.
There's a character for each influence type, new old balance!
Let's say you don't have the marketing budget to run multiple ad campaigns and you're not really up for the challenge of implementing the tricky new old balance strategy.
I've got another strategy for you that may just hit the spot. It's not quite as powerful as the new old balance but it is a lot easier and a lot less expensive to implement.
It's called the straddle strategy.
Craft your product or service and its marketing such that the level of SAF newness your exuding is in the centre of the influence graph.
Specifically, you straddle the line between the type 2 and type 3 rangers. This is the most powerful position on the board.
Here's why the straddle strategy works, I said a moment ago that type ones are disenfranchised for the most part.
They go through life realising that very few things are targeted to people like themselves, so if a product or service even leans in their direction exuding some type 2 appeal let's say, the 1s will accept it.
Unless you're specifically going after type 1s, you really don't need to target them directly to get some patronage of them and unless you want to strictly type four appeal, you don't know do directly target the fours either.
Type 2 acceptance and their influence will take care of the force automatically, so you really only need to direct your marketing to type twos and threes to cover most of the influence graph.
With the straddle strategy, you only need to alter one or two minor SAF elements and your appeal leans left in type 1, 2 direction.
Lower your level of SAF newness a little and you're appeal leans right in the type 3,4 direction, simple and budget-friendly.
Utilising your knowledge of the two keys:
SAF level and Influence types, you can set your demand juggernaut emotion then watch it spread out the population for your target market. In the next chapter, I will focus on your advertising and I'll show you how to make your ADS and commercials extremely effective even when people are paying no attention to them.