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Nietzsche's Niche Solving Brand Angst

posted Jul 14, 2014, 6:51 PM by Harry Hawk   [ updated Sep 24, 2014, 5:29 PM ]

Supremely difficult and painful angst is instrumental to the attainment of the best possible life… the authentic life, in which an individual shuns convention... [to] transcend the normal boundaries...”  Christaugh D. Roche 

Angst & Failure: Failure avoidance (by playing it overly safe) ultimately fuels angst for marketers, brands, and enterprises who see little recourse to offering homogenized and bland products to their mass market audiences. This "business" angst limits brand innovation and bridles passion. This was never more true than the music industry at the time of Napster (emphasis on industry) which sidelined independent, odd, and disruptive talent so it could mass produce big hits, big profits, and home grown stars (often in-vitro cultured, banal, and bland).


Angst, schmangst

Every business needs to learn from Nietzsche to embrace its angst and seek an “authentic life” for their staff, customers and most importantly their products. This isn't psycho-babble, arm-chair philosophy nor literary theory: we have learned authenticity sells.


How to be authentic at scale? Embrace & Transcend!
Creators and makers of branded products need to follow the "embrace the angst" advice so they can embrace failure, rule breaking, disruption, and authenticity to transcend the normal mindset that limits creativity during product development.

Can we disrupt at scale?
Today, companies have learned to be disruptive in niche markets using kickstarters and crowdfunding or with boutique offerings, but they lack the marketing communications tools to be authentic at scale.


(from: business 2 community)

Feedback Boosts Learning Making Failure Efficient:
The future of mass marketing is a multi decade shift to digital mass marketing (DMM) which ultimately will enable small (niche), medium (regional) and fully scaled markets. DMM is a counterpoint to historically analog marketing and it's crude tools and heuristics including broadly defined demographics, psychographics and gender stereotypes. Old school marketers employed widely drawn or imprecise geographic boundaries (i.e., media markets) creating highly inefficient advertising and communications. DMM, in part, relies upon entanglement which builds a bidirectional connection between brands and people; this facilitates effective feedback which is used to monitor both success and failure, boosting the signal to noise ratio which makes learning a far more efficient process.


Analog vs. Digital:
There might seem to be nothing more universal than teenage angst, and if we were marketing Nietzsche to teens, from an analog marketing POV we would try to buy up all teenage focused media weighted towards males (given the stereotype that adolescent males are riddled with angst); we would miss many young women while overreaching by targeting young men not interested in Nietzsche.

Digital Segmentation (DS):

DMM bridges big data and social CRM to create 1:1 connections to potential customers. To market Nietzsche to a DMM of teens we would start with the segment containing the “set of all teens” (Western, Eastern, Northern, Southern -- all of them). The next step requires an in-depth look at a variety of individual and societal traits including cultural bias, language, reading ability, socio-economic environment, academic interest, physical age and effective age, gender, hobbies and sports (among others) seeking patterns that we could correlate to an openness to Nietzsche's work. Each cohort would represent a digital segment (DS): a statistically abstract cohort whose members are uniquely reachable on a 1:1 basis; one teen could “live” in more than one DS.

(From: Business Blogging Segmentation)

Rapid Fire Failure:
In a mad dash to fail fast we would start selling all of Nietzsche’s books in all available translations to each of our teenage digital segments DS). Rapid failure would engender equally rapid and digitally efficient learning by creating new DS and/or new messages for each existing DS. Each Digital segment would have its own optimized set of books to buy (i.e., communications chain + sales funnel).


(from: Wealth Arisan)

Rush to Learn:

Our goal would be to learn which of Nietzsche’s 14 published books (and which translations) are best: Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, a compilation like The Portable Nietzsche Library or perhaps a Japanese language Magna of The Antichrist.

Five Reasons we need Digital Mass Marketing:

  1. Inefficient analog marketing is expensive 
  2. Analog marketing offers limited feedback 
  3. Failure is expensive 
  4. We can only afford to fail when we can learn from each failure 
  5. Rapid cycles of failure and learning will allow us to adapt to develop products to serve “virtual niches” disrupting (finally) at scale to billions


(from: Rapid Learning Center)

Rapid Learning:
Each of our Digital Segments (DSs) would have it’s own set of messages, triggers, content marketing and even paid media (e.g., communications chain); this messaging would be in constant flux as we work to introduce failure, while aggressively optimizing those messages that offer success. In time we would learn when to promote a 2nd or 3rd book, when preteens were about to become predisposed to Nietzsche, and even spot influencers who if intentionally exposed to Nietzsche would give his books a viral boost among their social graph. In the future by maintaining entanglement (over time and distance) with our DMMs or DSs, we might well learn to market “Japanese Magna Nietzsche” to college age students studying Japanese; we should have no angst as our team constantly develops new niches (i.e., digital segments) for Nietzsche's work.


(from: Innovative Disruption)

Fail and Fail Again:

Having worked out most of the failure related to selling existing books, our digital marketing tools would provide a great opportunity for further failure (i.e., learning), and do it faster and more efficiently than ever. We could test TV shows andmovie treatments, envision new magnas, experiment with transmedia Nietzsche, augmented reality, or delivery through Virtual Reality (VR) like Oculus Rift. Our goal would be disruption everywhere, all around the world, impacting how teens learn about existential angst. By knowing our customers (through listening) and building genuine relationships with them, we could develop limited edition (Niche Nietzsche) offerings that will be right sized to each potential DS (Digital Segment). Linking economics of production to the size of a digital segment would assure profitability. Our manufacturing base can’t evolve towards mass customization without the digital marketing tools to sell custom items at scale. Our teens may remain full of angst, but our brands must transcend theirs.

If you are interested in the future of digital marketing, have questions about this this post or would like to talk about any marketing communications issue please reach me on Twitter: @hhawk or visit the contact section of this site.

Writen by: Harry Hawk

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Robert McGivern and his team of neuroscientists at San Diego State University found a literal Kafkaesque metamorphosis in teenage brains they claim is responsible for their angst.