Wait what? Hear me out. I spend a lot of time crafting marketing messaging. Always considering the mighty unique value proposition or the key differentiators or the Why-To-Buy statement. You know, standard marketing best practices. And I can’t help but think we might be losing something in the process. What is lost is the reason I hope you listened Serial.
Remember how kick ass Adidas Sambas were growing up? (I’m obviously talking to anyone old enough to be confused as to what an Iggy Azalea might be.) But remember? Everyone had them. Or what about Starter jackets? Am I right?
Fast forward to today, there are over 13,044 different men’s shoes choices on Zappos. There are over 147,000 men’s jackets choices on Amazon. That’s a lot of choices. But more to the point, these choices lead to more fragmented experiences for all of us. Before we go on, consider this:
“In the present tense, we always want the maximum number of alternatives; in the short term, choice improves our lives, and we’re completely aware of that. The problematic rub is that – over time – choice isolates us. We have fewer shared experiences, and that makes us feel alone. The proliferation of choice makes us feel vaguely alienated, and that makes us depressed. But this relationship is not something we’re conscious of, because it seems crazy to attribute loneliness to freedom. We just think we’re inexplicably less happy than we should be.” -Chuck Klosterman
Choice Isolates Us
It’s true we all think we want it as much choice as possible. But really, I hope you listened to Serial so we can talk about why Jay is a liar (but Adnan probably is too). And I hope we can agree that mushrooms are sort of gross. And it would be awesome if we grew up on the same street because, well, small towns man, you know?
So in a world of seemingly endless options, how do we connect?
What’s the common thread here? If we’re trying to write compelling marketing, why aren’t we focusing more on talking to the shared experiences? Instead of telling everyone why we’re so different, why not tell our customers why we’re the same? Why not dig to see what we have in common with them and look to create our messaging from there?