Here’s a list of marketing paradoxes that might help you out as a marketer and make you smile at the same time.
Are you ready?
Let’s dive in.
The paradox of tribes
The more polarizing you are, the stronger the link between you and your tribe.
And the more haters you’ll have as well.
In other words, to be loved you must be hated.
And the binding force of a tribe is typically what they stand against.
The paradox of focus
Amazon started by only selling books. The iPod relaunched Apple.
You must start small and then go big.
The paradox of scale
To find a scalable product, you must do things that don’t scale.
Talk to every customer, and handle every complaint. You don’t have scale doing those things, but the foundation has to be in place before you get there.
You won’t have something scalable until you find a product that a few people love.
The paradox of price
People associate a high price with high value.
Hence, when you increase your price, people’s desire for the product increases.
High-end luxury is one example, known as Veblen goods. They convey social status, such as watches or handbags.
But there are also low-end, non-luxury products that defy standard economics as well, known as Giffen goods.
Demand for Giffen goods rises when the price rises and falls when the price falls. This results in an upward-sloping demand curve.
Consumer staples are an example because people need to buy them no matter their cost (e.g., rice, wheat, bread).
The paradox of loyalty
Apple makes you wait outside their stores all night to get their last product drop.
Sometimes you have to wait weeks to get a table in a Michelin star restaurant.
The harder you make for them to buy, the stronger is the desire toward your brand.
The paradox of popularity
What if everybody could buy a Patek Philippe or a Hermes Birkin Bag?
Some brands, when they become too popular, lose their appeal.
Patek Philippe and Hermes constrict the supply of their goods to protect their brand.
If everyone owns a Louis Vuitton bag, does it really become that big of a deal?
You can be exclusive or popular. Not both.
The paradox of authenticity
The moment you start to claim to be authentic, it can very much have the opposite effect.
Authenticity is a feeling, not something one says they are.
The paradox of selling
People want to feel that buying is their decision.
And if they feel like you’re trying to sell to them, the higher the resistance to buy.
The paradox of choice
Too much choice paralyzes customers.
For example, for a restaurant this might involve paring down your menu.
Don’t offer too much such that your customers are inclined to get nothing.
The paradox of competition
Most profitable companies are in the most competitive markets. High margins attract new players into the market.
The higher the competition, the higher the market opportunity.