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Falling Coke Bottles
Something taken out of context can become
irrelevant or, worse, cause trouble.

You must watch "The Gods Must Be Crazy" if you market your business.

Before I get into this you should know that the other side of me is anthropology. I majored in it simultaneously with art in college. A happy accident occurred along the way though. It turned out that most everything I learned about how to understand, speak to and learn/share with other cultures works swimmingly in the marketing world.

Not as a metrics tool or strategy tool as an MBA in marketing might learn, but more from the holistic approach to understanding a group's world view and hence unlocking the why-how-what-where of their view on life. So you can speak to what really matters to them when communicating.

At any rate the premise of the movie's story is based on the escapades of a traditional Basarwa tribesman, or bushman, as he's referred to in the movie. These escapades are the direct result of having seen a soda bottle fall from the sky. He interprets this as an object from the gods. The movie's slapstick comedy and adventure ensues as he tries to get rid of this evil thing.

Before that happens though, the movie explores all of the different ways that the bottle is used by his tribe before it starts to cause trouble and that's what made me think of you.

I've been writing all of these articles for your benefit so that you can market effectively without huge expenditures, clearly and concisely. But I should mention one thing about all of this that might make a huge difference for you.

That is, be sure whatever your introducing to and saying about a product when communicating with your market that they have context with which to pinpoint how this "thing" is going to benefit them. And that benefit needs to be appropriate. If not they will either use it another way or not care for it at all.

If there is no perspective on this new "thing" you offer it might actually end up being "evil" to them in the sense that it disrupts their day, prolongs their efforts or even ruins their existence. I know I'm speaking about an extreme circumstance here but realize that even a 5 degree shift of expectations could result in a marketing catastrophe for you, your team and your product.

You can defeat this simply....with good research. Learn from mega corporate urban legend mistakes of the past. For example, Chevrolet introduced the Chevy Nova to Latin and South American markets without even considering they were selling a car named "No va" to a culture who spoke a language in which those two words literally translated into "No go." Not so good for the big auto-maker.

This is what I'm talking about. Be strident about and take care of the details that matter to your market. You may have the coolest widget in the world, in your eyes, but it doesn't mean a darn thing if it falls out of the sky and hits someone in the head. It could send them on a perilous journey of comedic proportions.

For your bottom line that is just not funny. Oh, here is a great list of commercial flops. Some are relevant or entertaining. But mostly it's good education.


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