Yesterday I visited a lake. Sometimes a natural scenery can provide a practical perspective on life and business. This brief nature visit definitely did not disappoint. We went to the lake, and when we arrived, we saw a flock of ducks in the distance. The nature lover in me had a strong desire to engage the ducks. However, we did not have any bread in tow. Instead, we only had a gallon zip lock back full of Cheetos cheesy popcorn. So, we hopped out of the car with the popcorn in hand, and set out on our mission. The ducks were hundreds of feet away. We walked for a few hundred meters, and the path was turning more grassy as we went along, and the ducks remained far away. So my friend said, “Why don’t you go ahead and start throwing the popcorn in the water?” So, I quickly proceeded to the lakeshore and began to throw popcorn into the twinkling water. In the distance, you could see the ducks coming at a record pace with triangular trails of water behind them. From this moment came the first revelation, if you throw out bait, they will come. When they made it to where the floating popcorn buffet meal was located, some of the ducks had an obvious expression of confusion due to the choice of delicacies that was before them, and they were reluctant to eat. My friend suggested for me to try to communicate with the ducks. So, as I began to make my version of duck calls they actually began to eat. This in turn brought to mind a second revelation: you can’t just throw product out there, you have to communicate as well. A couple of them tasted the cheesy popcorn and it was unfamiliar, and difficult for them to gobble up, so they turned their backs to us and started to return back to their oasis far away. This visual provided the third revelation, if you put something into the marketplace, and it isn’t what the consumer wants, they may come to it, but they will go as quickly as they come. Next, as the majority of the ducks were retreating, a small group remained and were eating like crazy despite the unfamiliarity. These were the ducks that were initially at the front of the flock, and since they decided to stay and eat, the majority that were actually already retreating decided to come back and eat as well. This was the fourth and final revelation, if you can manage to properly engage a small group of tastemakers in the market, which is majority followers, the rest will follow suit.
Below is a recap of the revelations:
1. If you throw out bait, they will come.
2. You can’t just throw product out there, you have to communicate as well.
3. If you put something into the marketplace, and it isn’t what the consumer wants, they may come to it, but they will go as quickly as they come.
4. If you can manage to properly engage a small group of tastemakers in the market, which is majority followers, the rest will follow suit.