The Shell of a Marketplace
SYNOPSIS: We now buy perceptions rather than things.
How could the companies we work for become "virtualized?"
Doesn't this fly in the face of basic marketplace principles? Shouldn't enterprises that are so out of touch become terminally inefficient, and be driven out of business by others better rooted in reality?
According to classical marketplace principles, they certainly should. But we have the evidence of our own experience (which accounts, among other things, for the rapid rise to popularity of the comic strip Dilbert) that inefficiency and general craziness are rampant in the contemporary workplace.
And if we look beneath the surface, we can see evidence of certain basic marketplace principles that have traditionally governed the rise and fall of businesses being superseded.
The fact is, our marketplace has gone quirky. The basic processes of buying and selling merchandise have come so unhinged from traditional rationalistic concerns like price and value that today, to understand why people choose the things they do, we may often be better advised to consult a psychologist than an economist.
|Today's consumer marketplace only appears to be
well-educated and savvy.
|Lack of substantive product understanding forces us to rely
increasingly on the image a producer pays to propagate.
The more competition moves onto a cognitive plane, the more important size becomes as a competitive "strategy."
(c) COPYRIGHT 1994 ROBERT WINTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.