Thursday, December 30, 2010

Growing You Audience in 2011: Try a Wii Bit of Subtraction

When we think about growing audience, we often think about adding things. In fact, subtraction is often a better strategy.

I thought about this as I read a post-Christmas Tweet from someone expressing disappointment that their Wii didn’t play Blu-rays.

Granted, a Wii with a Blu-ray player could be useful for some owners, but having that ability isn’t central to the Wii’s core benefits. And, if the Wii were to retain its price point, what would have to be sacrificed to add this feature, and how would that sacrifice negatively impact the Wii’s overall experience in terms of its primary appeal?

Most radio perceptual studies include a segment on music as a tool to build audience. Usually it involves identifying a popular music style and then adding, one at a time, additional adjacent music styles in order to increase the size of the audience. At a certain point however, the addition of too many adjacent styles begins to shrink rather than grow the size of the coalition as these additions off-put more listeners than they attract.

Over time, a station can accumulate any number of additional, adjacent components. While some of these “augmented benefits” could induce some additional buying, some may be repelling it.

Periodically review your product, subtracting things that compromise your “core competencies” (why listeners choose you over a competitor), create barriers to increased consumption, or that actually contract the size of your audience.

Enabling the Wii to play Blu-rays could conceivably sell a few more devices, but if those sales come at the expense of the gaming experience or the brand position, it’s a bad strategy.

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