There was a time when mass-marketing equaled greater profits. Terms like “Social Pressure” and “Forced Compliance” came about because of mass-marketing. Bill Gates and Henry Ford sewed up the market in their respective categories.
While there was plenty of competition in 1918, the social consensus was “you needed a Ford”. The same with Microsoft when the entire Fortune 500 was using their software, most other companies felt as though they had to comply.
As legend has it Henry Ford once said, “…your car can be any color, as long as it is black.”
But let's say for example, you sold paper cups or better example, paperclips. How are you going to distinguish your paperclips from your competitor? With all things being equal, what sets you apart from your competition?
The answer is, “YOU!” You are selling yourself as a person. The quality, pricing, your dependability and the care you place on a person or account is part of a relationship that forced compliance lacks.
In a book called, “We Are All Weird” by Seth Godin, he explains, “Human beings prefer to organize in tribes.” These tribes or groups of people, share a culture or a definition of normal. Mass marketing is a push toward a “universal normal” merely to sell more products that other tribes may not consider normal. Anything other than the “universal normal” is considered “weird'.
We are experiencing a change in culture. The digital revolution has fractured the marketplace. Though we, as humans, still have our own definition of normal, technology has enabled us to connect with other people or tribes with the same values and culture and definition of normal.
That is why, Godin says, market-leading organizations fear the weird. He goes on to predict the end of mass-marketing as we know it.
So weird or not, one thing remains, you must make you customer feel like he or she is your most important client or business account that you have. In time people will come to realize that weird, is the new normal.