I was watching TV the other day and marvelling at how so few shows that started just three years ago were still on the air. Here was an actor who was in a critically acclaimed show just two years ago trying his “shtick” in another show. Unless it is a reality show (who appear to get a pass from the critics and the public for some unknown reason), few shows last very long anymore.
Shows that started in the 60’s and 70’s ran for 20 years. Not many shows today could accomplish that feat.
But this “short shelf-life syndrome” is not unique to the television industry. Companies are constantly looking for the next “new” thing, or the next product that will amaze. I barely got used to my iPhone 5S and Apple was telling me to forget about it – here’s a better model (with a completely different set of plugs and connections!).
My daughter hadn’t danced to all the Just Dance 3 songs on her Wii but she “had to have” Just Dance 4!
And if you can’t produce a new product that fast, the pressure is on the marketer to reposition, re-tell, re-energize the audience with a new story about the old product.
That is a lot of pressure on marketing. Often times I find myself asking clients “why” – why do we need to change? Is it all just to capture the bigger audience, the larger market share, the greater profit?
At some point in time, in all our lives, don’t we have to look at a bigger picture? Don’t we have to wonder about what we are doing and ask what effect we have on the community, and what impact we have on the lives around us?
If I pulled the iPhone away from my daughter for just a short period of time, couldn’t I impact her life in a more profound way?
Similarly, if I unplugged my daily need to chase the almighty “next thing”, could I not focus on creating solutions that would actually have a more significant impact? And in the end, if I did create that impact, wouldn’t it have enabled me to gain more profit or a higher market share?