My friend Tom Asacker sends his monthly newsletter subscribers his thoughts in neatly packaged PDF files. It’s interesting to me how this method of conveying his message is different from merely posting the essay to his blog. It doesn’t take Wi-Fi connectivity to read a download, but it’s also something of a collectable, an artifact, whereas just another blog post is merely bookmarkable.
In his latest offering, Asacker provides some random thoughts on business, brands and organization success. I particularly enjoy this bit about meaning…
The marketplace is, was, and always will be about meaning; meaning that communicates to the world—and to ourselves—who we are, what we believe in, and to what groups we belong. We choose products, services and causes based on a feeling of receiving distinctive value—a unique bundle of social, aesthetic, and functional meanings that feed our hungers to be liked, respected, and discerning. Apple, and a handful of other organizations, understand and embrace this reality and therefore continue to draw meaning-making consumers towards their high-margin models. To my utter confusion, the rest continue to chase the elusive, deal-seeking consumers with large, leaky nets of promotions, discounts and incentives. And that’s no way to grow.
Providing “distinctive value” to customers is what business is all about. When a company does that there’s less need for promotions and such, but there’s still plenty of room for marketing and brand building, for those two activities are all about how well a business conveys its “distinctive value” to customers and prospects.
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