The Masses are Dead – You Have to be Unique

Up until now in our lifetime, we have been use to a mass society where practically everything is geared toward commonality in masses of people and getting people to conform to those masses.  Businesses were geared around mass production of non-unique items that can be produced quickly and cheaply and sold in mass quantity.  There was virtually no relationship between the customer that purchased the product and the company that produced it.  They were merely trying to sell as many products as they could as quickly as they could to make a profit.

The same holds true for media.  Take for example television and movie theaters.  40 years ago or so, you only had 2 or 3 television stations and all of the shows were on for just a few hours a day.  Everybody that had a TV had a very few choices to watch and at specific times.  So, everyone saw what was on TV at those times whether it was Johnny Carson or the national nightly news.  Also, many commercials were seen by these masses of people because there were no other choices.  These advertisements worked in this market of no choices.  As for movie theaters, they were popular 40 years ago as well.  There were no other choices to see large screen, full surround sound, and special effects movies at the time.

Now, there are thousands and thousands of TV channels running 24 hours per day as well as on demand, YouTube, Internet TV, DVRs, Tivo, and many other avenues of watching programming.  The number of people that watch any one program or any one channel are now a lot smaller than they use to be 40 years ago.  The days of mass audiences focusing on one specific program at one specific time are long gone – never to return.

Theaters are hurting to bring in masses of people like they use to.  That’s why they have to have “fancy” gimmicks to get you in the theater.  They all have to be 3D since most people don’t have 3D TVs yet.  The “typical” movies now get more audiences when they are released on DVDs where people can watch them at home on their own big screen Hi-Def TVs with full surround sound.  We also have the other options of Netflix and other streaming services which further eat into movie theater profits.

There are many more options for people to spend there time with.  There are the same 24 hours per day that we had 40 years ago but there are more ways to spend our time now.  I know I personally spend a lot more time on YouTube and other places on the Internet for my video watching.  I have less time to watch TV and not much time to go to a theater (and don’t want to spend the fortune that it costs now anyway).  The TV that I do watch is programs that I record on my DVR which saves me more time and I can skip the commercials as well.  Now, I watch a 3 hour basketball game in about an hour.  So, 2 hours of my life are saved for more productive things.

I have noticed the same thing trend in my businesses. Customers don’t want to be just another number on a sales list.  They also don’t want to spend a lot of their own valuable time having to fiddle with our products.  They want us to do the time consuming work for them and they are willing to pay for it.  They also want a relationship with us and know they can count on us to get what they want done.  We occasionally have website customers that go elsewhere because they can get a website somewhere else for cheaper.  If all they want is cheap, they can go get it somewhere else.  They will get what they pay for – cheap sites and cheap service.  If they want excellent service, a team they can count on, and someone that does the hard work for them so they can do whatever they really want to do, then they come to us and are happy.

If you run a business, you also need to stop trying to find the magical myth of getting your business in front of the masses.  The masses are gone.  You have to be unique and find others that want/need your uniqueness.  They will build a bond with you and will appreciate you and recommend you to others.  They also won’t mind paying you more than your typical one-size-fits-all mass marketed business.

Now, go be unique and stop hunting for the masses…

- Hill

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