Why think short



Major theories, models and methods of “old school” competitive strategy, marketing and branding assert the need to think long-term. Well, times have changed and marketers have now more and more reasons to think short-term as well as long-term:



Because consumers’ lifestyles, motivations, preferences, expectations and behaviors have changed


Many consumers today live intense lifestyles, have short attention spans, are constantly on the go, impatient and need short termed, changing satisfactions. Their lives are often marked by many changes in living environment, familial status, career, interests and appearance.

Marketers should consider consumers’ two basic groups of needs:

  1. Safety, familiarity and trust
  2. Renewal, discovery and excitement.

The second group of needs is becoming increasingly important in our culture while traditional marketing and branding caters mainly to the first one.

A new major consumer motivation is the Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) which turns consumers into serial adopters of novelties. “Customer Loyalty” is dead. We now live in the Post-Customer-Loyalty Era. In many product categories consumers think short-term and so should marketers.


Because the nature of competition has changed


In today’s world of marketing, the competition is global and intense. Entrance barriers in many markets are lower than ever, markets are volatile and market shares also shift constantly. Nielsen data, among other sources, attest to the shortening life expectancy of new products and brands, even when they do succeed. The intense competition that applies to all markets puts an immense pressure on executives to deliver perpetual growth. Now that the nature of competition has changed, the “long-term” keeps getting shorter. Market realities are too changeable for old fashioned long term planning. We now live in the Short-Term Everything Era.


Because many marketables today are short-term by nature


Constant innovation is imperative in order to keep up with the new hyper-competition. In marketing today, many marketables are short termed (product versions and models, technologies, projects, processes, campaigns, events, TV and web formats, books movies and albums, startup companies, the list goes on and on) and it stands to reason that they require a new marketing and branding approach.


Because you can achieve higher volumes of sales and a higher (average) market share over time and even higher profitability thinking short


A Short Term Brand success is far greater yet relatively short-lived in comparison to traditional long-term brands. When properly managed, Short Term Brands do not require a high financial investment and are extremely profitable. A succession of short-term brands can result over time in a significantly higher average market share and market price than a long-term brand would achieve in the same market.


Because thinking short is the best way to keep your long-term brands full of life and relevant


In a changing retail environment, while consumers are looking for innovation and excitement in every product, Short Term Brands allow you to gradually update existing long term products, thus to preserve your clients’ loyalty to your new, innovative products, time and again.


Because thinking short is the new way to retain customers


As paradoxical as it sounds, a serial launching of new Short Term Brands one after the other keeps a company’s ongoing relevance in customer eyes. Given consumer’s current psychological profile, the repetitive launching of products provides clients with an ongoing innovation and interest, and reduces their tendency to be lured by your competition.  


PS: Think both long term and short term


Long term thinking in marketing and branding did not become irrelevant; it only has a different role. Long term strategy and brands create today a stable, trustworthy frame for consumers for a short termed activity that provides for their need for excitement and renewal. To succeed in today’s marketing reality, marketers need to think both long and short.