A Cheap Ferrari

Seth Godin (let me warn you, that many posts will start with that) recently spoke of creating markets based on feedback from non-customers in his post on Stinky Durian.

“This is what most marketers do. They listen to complaints from non-customers (“why don’t you buy from us?”) address them and wait for the market to grow…….Except this almost never works………The feedback you get from non-consumers is rarely useful, because the objection they give is the reason they don’t buy from you, not the thing that will cause them to affirmatively choose you.”

Not only does this not work, it has a negative effect. On the surface you gain no new customers and you alienate your current customers. Look a little deeper and you’ll see the story has been ruined, the product is now……a commodity.

Some people might actually like your product for what it is, but many also like your product for the story it lets them tell themselves and more importantly others. And then of course you have the fact that once you build your product to fit those non-consumer needs, they probably won’t buy it

I’d like Ferrari to make an inexpensive car. If they did, I wouldn’t buy it – a cheap Ferrari is no longer a Ferrari, its just another car.

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