In any ‘emerging market’ a huge number of seemingly alternative products and services start to appear.
Sometimes one of many implementations of the benefit requirement being served will emerge as the ‘leader’ and effectively suffocate the others.
Usually because it is either does the job better or does it at lower cost, or both, or because it is, although not ‘perfect’, a better all-round solution.
VCR won out over Betamax because although the latter was probably technically ‘better’, VCR was easier to produce and use.
Of course, they are both ‘obsolete’ now as people have found different, better, easier, cheaper ways of achieving the required result.
Occasionally a ‘market winner’ might be just be the ‘first ‘on the scene or perhaps the biggest player and gain a competitive advantage.
We still talk about doing the ‘Hoovering’ even though we use a Dyson to do it.
We still use ‘Sellotape’ even though we usually use some other brand of the eponymous ‘sticky back plastic’ of ‘Blue Peter’ fame.
And now, instead of ‘searching’ on the world wide web – we ‘Google’ – (other search engines are available!)
But in most markets, there are a plethora of solutions, after all, we don’t call all cars ‘Fords’ (like we do with the vacuum cleaners), we call them by their brand name.
And there are many brands and sub brands to choose from, all of which have their individual characteristics.
Generally, all the brands serving a market do pretty much the same thing. A car is a car, and it may come with different features and benefits from other cars, but it still provides the fundamental benefit of individually controlled road travel.
All the different brands in any market must provide that fundamental benefit to the members of the market, the consumers – individuals, whether they are representing their own interests or the interests of an employer.
A ‘market’ is a group of people seeking the satisfaction of a particular need or want – a particular benefit.
And just as a side comment, there’s no such thing as ‘business to business’ – unless you can introduce me to a business that doesn’t employ humans.
Maybe it would happen between two businesses entirely populated by computers and robots, where all the shareholders are also robots with no humans involved whatsoever!
Markets are composed of people, just people. Who they represent is relevant, but they are still just people.
Sometimes you get a brand who demonstrate the ‘Marmite’ principle. Unilever who manufacture it came up with an advertising campaign that people either love it or hate it – in which there is actually a good deal of truth.
And it applies to all sorts of other brands, probably the most prominent being Microsoft and Apple.
But Apple has taken it a step further – they’ve created a ‘tribe’ – a very large group of people who must have the latest Apple product, phone, tablet or computer, as soon as it is released.
They always upgrade, regardless of whether there is any real benefit enhancement to be gained.
Other smartphone brands are (sorry Apple people) just as good – they provide the same benefits, perhaps in a slightly different way, but they meet the same needs and wants of the people buying them and this is the case in all markets.
Sometimes they are looking for a solution to a problem that they need to resolve, sometimes they are looking for an opportunity to develop or move forward in some way.
One of the biggest ‘emerging markets’ has to do with just that – development.
Personal Development, Physical development, Business development (personal development in a different context), and the latest addition to the category – Spiritual development.
This ‘development’ market has been ‘emerging’ for a long time. Back in the early part of the 20th Century it was called ‘self-help’ and was serviced by thousands of books and audio recordings.
But it stagnated, it turned into ‘shelf help’ because many of the books were never read and the audios never heard.
It wasn’t until the internet and world wide web arrived that it ‘took off’ again.
A vast amount of learning materials, courses and programmes have become available on-line, and alongside that there has been massive growth in the numbers of coaches, therapists and other practitioners in the various techniques that have now become available.
There had always been coaching and mentoring going on and there had always been counsellors and therapists – but only in a limited number of disciplines and techniques.
Now, for those who want to engage with this, there are a huge number of choices they can make.
There are so many different techniques and programmes providing similar benefits, and although this is a gross generalization, like cars, they all do much the same thing in terms of the benefits they provide.
On the one hand this is good but on the other, when faced with too much choice, people generally go for the ‘do nothing’ option.
So, faced with a multiplicity of brands that seem to do much the same thing, how do you and I make a choice?
The first thing to realise is that there is no ‘right’ answer, and there is rarely a ‘best’ choice.
There is however a ‘worst’ choice.
You and I can usually spot this quite quickly, not because ‘it sounds too good to be true’ but because someone is trying hard, trying very hard, to sell it to us.
(You can overdo ‘scarcity’ with an offer)
Have you ever noticed that those here today gone tomorrow offers always pop up again a few months later?
The answer to your multiple-choice conundrum is simple.
- Don’t get pushed into purchasing – or even pulled into making a decision.
- Do your research. Look at all the options that attract you
- Do your due diligence and check the credibility of whoever is making the offer
- Pick out the offers that suit you best – be clear what each offer entails
- If you’re choosing a coach or therapist meet or talk to them via Zoom or Skype first
- Choose what and who aligns or resonates with you best
Remember the guidelines
- Be clear what benefit you are seeking
- There is no right or best choice
- In any form of development, personal, business, physical or spiritual, it’s about you, not them.
Oh, and by the way, we can’t do any of this development work by ourselves, you and I need coaches, mentors, therapists and trainers – otherwise it all becomes expensive ‘shelf help’!
All really successful people have them – including the successful coaches, mentors, therapists and trainers!