Push or Pull Strategy? Creating a Gravitational Pull

What attracts us to a particular individual, brand or business and not another?

Imagine yourself as a galaxy in a multiverse. There are multiple different options available to you with each choice you make. Each individual, each soul and each startup is like ‘the Sun‘ of its very own solar system. There are a myriad of prospective ‘Suns’ floating through space. Most of them will burn out before they can even create a system around their orbit.

Our job–as creatives and business owners–is to create enough gravity to pull rogue (and perhaps even yet to be formed) planets into your orbit. But it doesn’t end there. Then you have to keep those planets rotating around you for what is hopefully a long time to come. You need to keep bringing them closer, increasing their loyalty and advocacy and attracting peers from their networks into yours. As the mass of your solar (or social) system grows, so does the gravity you generate. If your gravity weakens, a competitor will come along and attract your customers away.

In the past, and in certain industries, competitive advantage was about higher barriers to entry. The more we can keep others out, the more we can maintain our position. Now it’s increasingly about generating a greater force of attraction.

In a business (as opposed to celestial) context, the push model works better when the client or customer is clearly defined. If a startup founder knows exactly what customers or clients need and then invests in businesses which meet that exact need, then it’s easier to put that much-needed product in front of a customer as you know that the probability of someone purchasing that product is high.

In the event that a startup does not have a concrete customer in mind–it is not the end of the world. It simply indicates that the push model would be an inappropriate strategy.

If you do not have a concrete customer in mind, it would be better to focus on what it is that you’re doing that no one else is doing–and how to do it in a way that only you can do. That way the individuals who are meant to be in your gravitational pull are the ones who will be attracted into it–and who will also tell their friends all about it.

In the pull model, the product is created first and the customer comes later. In this situation, customer demand is ascertained through prototyping or testing different segments to see results and make future decisions based on that. In the pull method, supply–not demand–is the impetus for growth. In the pull model, the distribution strategy comes down to risk tolerance and the competitive strengths and collective experiences of the business team. 

So tell me, who–or perhaps even what–did you pull into your orbit today?

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