Austria     Belgium     Brazil     Canada     Denmark     Finland     France     Germany     Hungary     Iceland     Ireland     Italy     Luxembourg     The Netherlands     Norway     Poland     Spain     Sweden     Switzerland     UK     USA     

Let’s try something striking!

Man in the Ivory Tower: Part 3 of 5

Individual-type people are creative, skilled communicators, which allows them to influence their environments. For them, change is an essential element of life, and they surprise themselves and their surroundings with constant novelty. This personality type, however, is selfish, cares about its own goals, and loves to be the centre of attention, often at any cost. Their ideas are decent, and though many are useless and unfeasible, they are definitely unique. They are excellent at creating things, but weak at implementing them. They view situations in moments, not systems, so their work and life can become chaotic.

The Individual Strategy

The constant search for creativity and novelty is the cornerstone of the Individual strategy. The essence of the strategy is to break into the market with a surprising product, in a shocking way that no one in the world has tried before. The essence of the Individual path is to use the most unique methods possible. The emphasis, in this case, is on the specialness of the product and an intensive, influential, and often manipulative communication campaign featuring unusual methods. These two need to be applied simultaneously to elicit success. The Individual strategy requires a lot of space, a stage, and believes in mass solutions. The more people you reach, the more potential customers you move; that’s the foundation of success. The Individual doesn’t deal with the details, the product is definitely new, but whether it’s quality or genuinely good to use, these issues have a secondary role, and that’s okay. In pricing, the Individual also tries to ensure that it reaches as many people as possible, and pricing can therefore be confusing to the market. This element of the strategy will ensure that it is incomparable with its competitors. They do not want to get lumped together with the competition. Not least because they would fall short of competitors from a quality/professionality perspective. We might ask, then, what is such a strategy good for? Who wants to buy a low-quality product? If we focus on this question alone, the answer is clear: no one. Yet an Individual solution always provides its customer with a uniqueness, a special look, a distinctive role, and that’s what many people love—especially Individual consumers. Yes, the Individual strategy places the greatest emphasis on design, exteriors, and seemingly redundant, yet not always functional, product details. They heavily commit to this path, which means they can achieve significant success. The Individual strategy is hectic one that utilises waves like the Ruler strategy, but these waves must be unpredictable. After all, the element of surprise is an essential part of this strategy. And let’s not underestimate the power of surprise when we launch a product that is absolutely out of the ordinary, at a completely different time and method than usual. Oh, and let’s not forget that the Individual solution is always the first to hit the market, as it creates its own market. Many times, the Individual attempts to satisfy non-existent needs. This is precisely the danger of this strategy because you don’t want to find existing niches in the market; you want to create new ones. And obviously, there is the possibility of failure, because what if the niche that the strategists envisioned does not exist for practical reasons? What if someone invents the five-wheeled scooter, but the reason no one is selling it is that no one wants a scooter with five wheels?

The success and failure of the Individual strategy

Its success is most likely in a given market when that market is at rest and its consumer welfare is sufficient. We could put more simply: when the market is bored. When there’s a stratum of people who are already bored of all existing products and no matter how much they benefit, they want something new. Once again, I would stress that we should not underestimate this opportunity because a lot of very successful businesses have been built along this route. Most of all, I could mention startups, a significant portion of which fail, of course, and investors waste a lot of money at times, but at the same time, there are ideas from which great companies have grown and “fooled” the world. Of course, not all startups were built using Individual strategies, but many of the strategy’s most effective implementations took place in the startup space. We can say, however, that the greatest risk is in the application of this strategy. Not only because of its hecticness, or in some cases unprofessionalism, but the Individual approach not only allows but even supports fibs both big and small. Mainly, this entails not talking about the negative features of the product or to keep silent about certain parts that are not sympathetic to the market. But in a strategy with influence-oriented communication, it is permissible to tell potential customers the thoughts you like and, where appropriate, promise more about the product than you actually know. Many times, even with a quality product, the Individual strategy wants to elevate it further. The Individual approach can deliver speedy results. Faster than a Ruler strategy, even. However, if the professional background behind the product cannot cash the checks written by the communications side, the failure will also be spectacular. This method builds on inflated balloons, and that’s not the problem in and of itself. The trouble comes when the strategist focuses only on the Individual character and does not focus on ensuring that they can actually deliver on promises made, which would dull or even eliminate any disappointment. This is why respectable professionals do not employ this strategy by itself. Usually, they use it for the frontend, and the Expert direction, which is the opposite pole of the psychological circle, is used to build the backend. Thus, although there is a risk that communication will overpromise, eventually, the Expert background will solve these problems.

The Individual Strategy in 2021

Although COVID has created a new business reality, that does not mean that this reality has room for a novelty-based Individual strategy. Many found this out the hard way in the first few months after the pandemic broke out. They took to the business stage with great ideas and creative thoughts. They constructed a large platform for themselves, spread their cleverness throughout social media channels, and waited for the big deals to pour in. They never arrived. “You’re in big trouble; you want an immediate solution, so buy it now!” Unfortunately, businesses employed this type of communication across every sector, and it was utterly ineffective everywhere. The practitioners of the Individual strategy did not consider remaining silent, as they thought that new ideas were needed in that time more than ever. And that was true! Just not ad-hoc, self-explanatory ideas. The problems that people faced were much weightier; they could not even consider buying products and services that were superficial, influential, and otherwise questionable. It won’t be any different in 2021. So, if someone wants to be successful in the years to come, then they must not utilise the Individual strategy; if they do, they can set their business down the wrong path!

Prev episode

There’s the gap, attack now!

Next episode

Simple and Useful!