Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rarefication Is The New Decommodification.

Decommodification is an awkward word to say and simply not assertive enough to describe the underlying differentiation problem.

To avoid being a commodity in a fast-moving world of shared technologies and replicable ideas, you need to be actively different, noticeably remarkable and consequently scarce and of value. After all, you're seeking to charge a significant and sustainable premium.

It's not enough just to try to not be a commodity. That way lies mid-level mediocrity and trivial distinctions supported by white-washing advertising.

You don't need to decommodify - you need to rarefy.

rarefy
- to make more complex, intricate, or richer.
- to refine a design or pattern.

Yes it has elitist overtones, but isn't that what true differentiation is all about? And it's certainly easier to say.

9 Comments:

Blogger Rob Mortimer said...

There is such a fine line there.

Its not always the right thing to rarefy, many brands thrive on their 'everyman' approach. Others would simply fail to be seen as a complex brand.

4:28 PM, October 29, 2007  
Anonymous Tom said...

The first line of this post sounds like an astrophysics thesis John - this is more and more like Charles by the week.

3:08 AM, October 30, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...

Tom - thanks for the warning.

Rob - I'm not saying that you have to be highbrow, just markedly different. You can apply the thinking to everyman products - indeed you have to because they are the most likely to fall into the abyss of price competition.

4:48 AM, October 30, 2007  
Blogger Rob Mortimer said...

Thats ok then! As long as you are claiming everything should be highbrow ;)

Look at Tesco, they have managed to be low brow, mid brow AND high brow through sub-brands; and they have reaped the rewards.

5:33 AM, October 30, 2007  
Blogger Harold Jarche said...

Good term. I like it, as it's descriptive in a positive way. I followed the link from your comment on Hugh's post :-)

8:46 AM, October 30, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...

Thanks and welcome Harold. I wish it were slightly easier to say but I think it's close.

10:00 AM, October 30, 2007  
Anonymous Tom said...

When I was in T - Shirts we had the view of T - Shirts as a customiseable commodity.

A commodity like bread, because everyone wears T - Shirts - but one that we were trying to add value to, through design but also through added value stuff like limited editions, innovation in branding techniques, providing information about the products, highlighting the craft - based, and central London based production - as well as playing around with the distribution channel.

It was really good fun - and there's a lot to be said for fun - it's underated.

What we DID have to do was splinter our ranges and create multiple brands aimed at different markets - we did all sorts of stuff actually.

Mass rarefication.

3:00 AM, October 31, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...

I always saw you as a visionary Tom.

12:08 PM, November 01, 2007  
Anonymous Tom said...

It's the glasses

8:41 AM, November 02, 2007  

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