We know for any startup, project or brand to succeed, marketing can't be ignored. In fact marketing can be everything.

Saying marketing is everything can be a bold statement but we know that the engineers and the
designers in product development would certainly take issue with that, so would the
analysts in finance who have been studying price elasticity. It doesn't matter what
you sell if you can't ship it, right?

How can marketing be everything? Simple. Everything those people do, the product
engineers, and the financial analysts, even the warehouse managers contribute to
how customers perceive a brand. In one sense, everything they do is marketing. So
marketing is everything.

Now, here are some of the most interesting paradoxes of marketing that I've come across.

The Paradox of Loyalty

Top brands increase their appeal by making products harder to buy. Apple makes you wait outside overnight to get the latest iPhone. Tesla has wait times as long as 10 months. Meanwhile, most companies have to reduce friction to increase sales.
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The Paradox of Tribes

To be loved, you must be hated. The binding force of a tribe is typically what they stand against. Web3 communities thrive in part because of what they oppose. ex: Decentralized Finance vs. Wall Street.

The Paradox of Focus

Start small to go big. Do one thing extraordinarily well and your value compounds. Do many things and you dilute impact across all of them. The iPod relaunched Apple. Amazon started by selling books.

The Paradox of Competition

Competition is usually proportional to market opportunity. A common startup mistake is to enter a market with little competition, thinking they're more likely to succeed. But most lucrative companies are in the most competitive markets.

The Paradox of Selling

The more you feel sold to the less you buy. A purchase is an expression of autonomy. People want to feel like they're making their own decisions. No one wants to be manipulated into parting with their money.

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The Paradox of Popularity
Some brands are victims of their own success. When aspirational products become too commonplace, they lose their appeal. Be exclusive or popular, but you can't be both.

The Paradox of Authenticity

Brands that claim authenticity rarely feel authentic. Authenticity doesn't announce itself. It just is. If you have to say you're authentic, you're probably not.

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The Paradox of Price

To sell more, increase your prices. People associate price with value for many physical goods like jewelry and clothing.
Increase desire by raising prices and watch sales rise with it.

The Paradox of Conformity

Have you noticed that a lot of "disruptive" startup brands look alike? Many new companies aspire to be different. Yet they often look like they used the same creative team. The desire for legitimacy can lead to conformity. Be different.

The Paradox of Choice

Too much choice paralyzes consumers. Anchor your target price between high and low options to make the middle option most appealing.
Simplify decisions for your customers and they'll thank you for it.

The Paradox of Scale
To find product-market fit, do things that don't scale. Talk to every customer. Handle every complaint.
You won't have something scalable until you find something that a few people LOVE.

That's all. I write about marketing, strategy and growth hacking. If you liked this article, like it and share it with someone.