Dissatisfaction is progress in the market

Lateral Marketing, Marketing, messaging, Product Management, segmentation

Do lions get dissatisfied or for that matter zebras or giraffes. My guess is “No”. Lions and zebras and all the other animals have more or less remained as they were more than a 100000 years back. The lion in the image above still hunts its prey when it feels hungry and then just goes and rests with its family exactly what its ancestors did a hundred thousand years back.

Humans have evolved over that same time. One of the reasons is the fact that we had real estate in our head, due to which our brains could grow and evolve and are still evolving. In one of my earlier posts I wrote about how scarcity is the mother of all development. If we don’t have food, we try to find ways to grow food, we create GM seeds so that pests and weather don’t impact them. If we don’t have water we seed clouds or desalinate water from the sea.

I will qualify that while scarcity causes us to think of solutions, its the dissatisfaction with the scarcity which is the mother of all progress. If we are not dissatisfied with the fact that we are short of something and we need to find ways to get out of the situation, we would never move from being cavemen to what we are today. Not being able to find food would have made us look for ways to build weapons that could be used to kill wild animals and help us not get killed.

But its this same dissatisfaction which cause us to feel bad, feel low etc. Its what gets us emotional about issues. And the negativity with the issues causes us to also do negative things like arson, robbery etc. So its a double edged sword.

Marketing and product management is all about finding the dissatisfaction in the market and providing a solution. If you can clearly identify different areas of dissatisfaction, you can segment the market in different ways. Quite a lot of times the dissatisfaction is latent…..nobody knew they wanted a car versus a horse carriage.

But yes people were fed up of dirty taxis, high fares & tantrums and someone thought of ride sharing without owning any taxis.

However more often then not you don’t create a product or service from scratch. You have to mould what you have, by adding features or deleting some, to meet a specific need of a specific segment of the market and then carry your messaging in a way that the market gets it. I would highly recommend you to read Lateral Marketing by Philip Kotler to learn the frameworks of how you can create new segments/uses by making subtle changes in your products.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!