Wired Magazine’s Chris Anderson published a book called “The Long Tail” which has been the pop marketing book of the last two years. It states that the internet allows people more product and service choices and therefore dilutes the market power of master brands. A new article published by Anita Elberse, marketing professor at Harvard b-school suggests otherwise (tinyurl.com/3rg5gp). Says Ms. Elberse, the internet helps magnify those with buzz and the market leaders.
A new book called “Buying In” written by Rob Walker, a NY Times Magazine reporter and marketing blogger, addresses the influence brands have over consumers. It seems his view lies somewhere in the middle of these two theories.
Likes and dislikes when it comes to products and services, defy rules. I loved strawberry shortcake as a kid until I ate so much I got sick to my stomach. Raw clams were disgusting to me until I saw the rapture on my uncle’s face as he slurped one down. I knew the first time I heard “Lazy Eye” by the Silversun Pickups, that they were a special band, yet did not like Rage Against the Machine until I saw them live. Now they are a favorite. This stuff defies theory.
Marketing is all about the art, the time and place, the referring agent and guts. The guts of the marketer and the gut feeling of the consumer. If you have an eye and an ear for it, you win. If you don’t, you write theory.