For 30 years I have developed, worked with, and employed a practical concept of marketing in my consultancy. I did not know that others were on the same track, until I came across Spent by Geoffrey Miller a couple of years ago, and The Consuming Instinct by Gad Saad more recently. Apparently, the same idea has dawned to us simultaneously in different parts of the World unknown to each other. The Americans developed the idea in academic environments, whereas I did it in the practice of my consultancy, writing books about it, lecturing and teaching. Consequently, it was rather recently, when I realized that this marketing theory of the future would be called evolutionary marketing. The difference between our parallel efforts is that the professors have had better resources to verify their ideas and theories, whereas I have been more inclined to develop a system of practical models for people active in business. Read it and discover the useful and practical models you can use in everyday marketing.
When deciding on a flexible or fixed price for electricity or bank loan interests you are often in a difficult situation of choice. Which one is to be preferred? Putting this situation in relation to the principle of the transaction equation, I realized this. The flexible, demand dependent, price is the price of a commodity. The fixed price may rather be seen as that of a branded product, as the offer contains a component of reliability – no surprises here. On the buyer’s side this would be regarded with trust and comfort. By the addition of this positive aspect to the product, the supplier would be able to ask a higher price over time. This potential for a metavalue clearly indicates a branded product. I will appreciate your comments – does the difference in the offers mean the fundamental difference between non-branded and branded products? Do visit my General Theory of Marketing for a comprehensive discussion.
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All brands exist in the human mind only. More or less different for all of us and our situations. The same brand will be different in the mind of the strategically responsible manager, his employees, and their customers. The strategic brand points out the direction, the employees’ view of the brand guides their actions, and the buyers’ brand is the one that has the capacity to add value to products in the marketplace. In conventional marketing literature these three brand as-pects are called “profile”, “identity” and “image” respectively. I suggest that they remain brands, and are designated consequently: strategic brand, internal brand and effective brand. Which one is the most important? The effective brand decides the company’s assets in consumer value. The strategic brand is the plan, but without staff and employees “living the brand” neither product development and marketing nor servicing and customer relations will remain management’s wet dreams only. The three brands will rarely coincide, a small difference implies dynamics, but too big a difference means problems. Read more on the Meta Management Model on brand development.
It may be no surprise, but it is more serious than you realise. You can make jokes about it, but it is still a fact of life. Ask Charles Darwin or the multitude of modern scientists who stand on his shoulders. Status, or social identity as I prefer it, is the difference you make. Being dissatisfied with Maslow’s need hierarchy, I got the idea of finding a more realistic model for human behaviour some twenty years ago. Inspired by Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene (1976), I placed mating at the top, true to the biological conviction that the meaning of life is the transportation of genes from your parents to your offspring. Research proves that a good social identity makes you attractive on the mating market. It may be won in a number of ways: conspicuous consumption (Porsche, Rolex, etc.), trained and well-groomed physics, intelligence and interests (Ph.D., opera, etc.), a successful business career, or just being the centre of social life. Also Darwin admirer Sigmund Freud has a say here. Pleasure in the model has a strong affinity to his term libido. Consequently, this powerful instinct for social identity is a key factor to address in all marketing efforts, B2B or B2C. The secret is just that social identity (or status, if you want) is sexy for real, not only as a joke, as most people prefer it. Evolutionary psychology proves it a reality of great importance for marketing in theory and practice. Learn more from my theory of marketing.
By definition, the (potential) buyer decides to buy when he finds the value of the offer to be equal or higher than the price asked. This apparently is the making of an equation. But the seller sells more than the tangible product, and the byer buys more. We have to be realistic. For the buyer it is impossible to separate all different inputs forming his picture of the product offered. It all adds up to a “total entity” consisting of physical features, place of purchase, brand reputation, service offer, personnel behaviour, and price – the product! All what the buyer, in reality, values as components of the product - his valuation an exponent of evolutionary psychology, EP. In the light of this logic, the long-standing 4P model must be obsolete to anyone focused on consumer behaviour. Opposite to the complete picture of what creates the buyer’s perceived value, is the corresponding compilation of what the supplier bases his price on. Now the transaction definitely takes the shape of an equation. This can be illustrated with two boxes. One representing the total product (including price) offered, containing everything that the supplier uses to make it worth the buyer’s money, from nuts and bolts to brand value (as the customers judge it!). The other representing the total value of, as buyers (may) see it, from nutrition to bragging. This is the principle of the transaction equation. Not only a theoretical principle, but also a comprehensive marketing tool. But remember to use it as an equation, putting the right thing on the correct side. You can get some ideas for the practical use from the chapter about it in my General Theory of Marketing.