In a marketing landscape characterized by immense noise and competition, differentiating your strategy from the status quo has never been more crucial. Fueling this kind of differentiation calls for an unorthodox approach to thinking—one that questions norms and pushes boundaries.
Enter the ThinkWrong system, a brainchild of Greg Galle and his innovative team at Future Partners. This methodology aims to combat what Galle terms the "status quo bias," a deeply ingrained human tendency to revert to familiar solutions when addressing problems.
Overcoming the Status Quo in Marketing
Status quo bias, while comfortable, often acts as a barrier to true innovation. It is particularly inhibitive in strategic marketing, where change and novelty often distinguish between success and obscurity. To leap beyond this hurdle, organizations must learn to challenge prevailing paradigms.
They must understand that past marketing strategies may not necessarily cater to the future. This is where the ThinkWrong system comes into play, offering a blueprint for breaking free from conventional thinking and journeying into the realm of the extraordinary.
How to Apply the ThinkWrong System in Marketing
Be Bold, Get OutThis principle urges us to leave our comfort zones. In a marketing context, it could translate to questioning traditional campaign models, target audience segmentation, or communication channels. A practice that can facilitate this kind of bold thinking is conducting brainstorming sessions that actively encourage and welcome wild, unconventional ideas. By allowing imagination to roam freely, you create an environment conducive to the birth of groundbreaking strategies.
Consider the example of Red Bull. Their marketing approach boldly stepped away from the traditional. Instead of following the usual advertising route, they created their own events, such as the Red Bull Stratos jump from the edge of space, creating a unique brand identity synonymous with extreme sports and high-energy experiences.
Let Go, Look OutThis phase calls for letting go of preconceived notions and biases that tend to limit our perspective. It promotes looking outward at different industries, cultures, or societal trends for inspiration. A financial company, for instance, could derive strategies from the entertainment industry to make its messaging more engaging. This intersection of ideas from disparate fields can lead to revolutionary marketing strategies.
Tesla serves as a great example of this principle. While the automotive industry traditionally relies heavily on advertising, Tesla forgoes this practice entirely. Instead, they rely on public relations, word of mouth, and social media engagement, a strategy more common in the tech industry than in automotive.
Move Fast, Break StuffThis principle advocates for rapid prototyping. It means developing rough versions of marketing strategies, putting them out there, testing them, collecting data, learning from failures, and iterating quickly. This method allows marketing teams to move quickly and arrive at optimal solutions more rapidly.
A prominent example of this is Amazon. Known for its "Day 1" philosophy, the e-commerce giant emphasizes speed and willingness to correct course quickly when needed. This approach led to initiatives like Prime, Echo, and Kindle, which have become significant aspects of Amazon's brand identity.
Bet Small, Win BigThis is about dispersing risk rather than putting all your eggs in one basket. Instead of pouring massive resources into a single "big idea," consider betting small on a range of innovative ideas. This approach allows for the testing of various strategies. Winning solutions can then be scaled up, offering the potential for significant returns.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) successfully applied this strategy with their "Connect+Develop" program. They understood that not all good ideas come from within, and through this program, they sought innovative ideas from outside the company. By betting small on several external innovations, P&G succeeded in creating several winning products.
ThinkWrong: A Mindset Shift
In essence, the ThinkWrong system is more than a set of procedures—it's a transformative shift in mindset. It champions a culture that values bold, audacious ideas and is unafraid of failure. For strategic marketing, this approach could unlock uniquely compelling campaigns that captivate audiences and redefine brand positioning. By daring to "think wrong," marketers might just stumble upon the right way forward.
Adopting the ThinkWrong system could initially feel uncomfortable, as it challenges our deep-seated thought processes. But it's precisely this discomfort that signifies the first step towards unbridled creativity and innovation. So here's to thinking wrong and, in doing so, thinking right. Embrace the ThinkWrong Mindset
To sum up, the ThinkWrong system is not merely a set of steps to follow but a mindset to adopt. It's about fostering a culture that values audacious ideas and is unafraid to fail. In strategic marketing, this mindset could be the key to unlocking unique, compelling campaigns that capture audience attention and elevate brand positioning. By thinking wrong, marketers might find they've thought rightly.