The most valuable paradoxes of marketing:
The Paradox of Tribes

To be loved, you must be hated.

The binding force of a tribe is typically what they stand against.

Web3 communities thrive in part because of what they oppose.

ex: Decentralized Finance vs. Wall Street
The Paradox of Focus

Start small to go big.

Do 1 thing extraordinarily well and your value compounds.

Do many things and you dilute impact across all of them.

The iPod relaunched Apple.

Amazon started by selling books.
The Paradox of Scale

To find product-market fit, do things that don't scale.

Talk to every customer. Handle every complaint.

You won't have something scalable until you find something that a few people LOVE.
The Paradox of Price

To sell more, increase your prices.

People associate price with value for many physical goods like jewelry and clothing.

Increase desire by raising prices and watch sales rise with it.
The Paradox of Loyalty

Top brands increase their appeal by making products harder to buy.

Apple makes you wait outside overnight to get the latest iPhone.

Tesla has wait times as long as 10 months.

Meanwhile, most companies have to reduce friction to increase sales.
The Paradox of Popularity

Some brands are victims of their own success.

When aspirational products become too commonplace, they lose their appeal.

Be exclusive or popular, but you can't be both.
The Paradox of Conformity

Have you noticed that a lot of "disruptive" startup brands look alike?

Many new companies aspire to be different. Yet they often look like they used the same creative team.

The desire for legitimacy can lead to conformity.

Be different.
The Paradox of Authenticity

Brands that claim authenticity rarely feel authentic.

Authenticity doesn't announce itself.

It just is.

If you have to say you're authentic, you're probably not.
The Paradox of Selling

The more you feel sold to the less you buy.

A purchase is an expression of autonomy. People want to feel like they're making their own decisions.

No one wants to be manipulated into parting with their money.
The Paradox of Choice

Too much choice paralyzes consumers.

Anchor your target price between high and low options to make the middle option most appealing.

Simplify decisions for your customers and they'll thank you for it.
The Paradox of Competition

Competition is usually proportional to market opportunity.

A common startup mistake is to enter a market with little competition, thinking they're more likely to succeed.

But most lucrative companies are in the most competitive markets.

This thread was inspired by @SahilBloom 's epic thread on the most powerful paradoxes of life:

Some of these ideas came from:…
These were 10+ powerful paradoxes of marketing.

Follow me @bbourque for more threads on marketing, startups and human behavior.

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