Friday, June 30, 2006

Syndrome of the perfect green apple (again)

There's an interesting interview on Guy Kawasaki's blog with the CEO of a business called MyPleasure, which is "dedicated to providing the finest adult toy shopping experience possible" (quoted from their site). What prompts this post is this answer of MyPleasure's CEO:

"We tend to do exceptionally well in the “red states". At first, we were a little surprised by this, but this actually makes a lot of sense. If you are living in a conservative community in the South, for example, and you want something to enhance your relationship, where exactly are you going to go? Even if there is an “adult bookstore” or something of the kind in your state, it is probably quite a drive and most likely in a bad part of town, and you are unlikely to find a sales person who actually knows anything about the products or you would want to talk to. Also, you probably want to avoid running into your neighbor or your minister."

Red states in the US, in case you had not guessed, are states voting for the Republicans (or GOP), the party of the current President. Interestingly the GOP is positionned as the party of morality and traditional values. In view of the info provided by the CEO of MyPleasure, I come to wonder whether the GOP is not in fact the most potent factor of neurosis and psychological disorders in the US simply because it amplifies the disconnect between what people think they must look like or do to be "acceptable" or "honorable" in their local societies and what people actually want for themselves.

From a marketing perspective the insight provided by this case is simple: never assume... ever!

From a social and political perspective, I guess it may be time for all of us to meditate on the syndrome of our societies to seek "perfect green apples". By this I mean that we pay more attention to the way people, products, companies, animals, food... look than to their substance. That may be why...

  • job offers contain unrealistic / unnecessary requirements

  • candidates lie on their CVs

  • marketers lie about their products

  • performance indicators are consistently manipulated

  • project support offices exist in big corporations

  • the art of politics by the people and for the people became a line of business reserved to an elite serving special interests

  • the Peter principle remains consistently valid in big corporations

  • merit is irrelevant in many parts of our society

  • a good product without excellent marketing fails

  • vaporware became a discipline for at least one big software company

  • people who never paid any attention to nature nor to people all of a sudden portray themselves as champions of durable development and charity initiatives

  • the same politicians remain in the spotlight for decades

  • ...

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