P023: Stubbornness vs Consistency

It is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Now, obviously that’s not the actual definition of insanity, but it is a fun and folksy way of throwing shade on the most stereotypical American trait: a stubborn devotion to hard work.

You may recall that Cadillac commercial mocking the French for having a healthy work/life balance. By dealing in dopey American exceptionalism, Cadillac sets up their new car as a manifestation of the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it mentality. But of course it is broke, and a big reason is Cadillac’s stubborn adherence to building cars that people don’t want any more.

The genius twist of this ad is that by selling a plug-in electric car, Cadillac is admitting that what they were doing wasn’t working and that they are looking to change direction in response to market conditions. Unfortunately for Cadillac though, the even the best advertising is useless if you are selling a product that no one wants. Having an entry in an emerging market isn’t enough anymore.

Stubborn, or consistent?

Whether you are selling luxury cars or writing a weekly newsletter, it’s important to be able to set and meet expectations. But more than that, you need the flexibility to adjust to changes in the market. I’ve found that having a fixed publishing schedule is useful for building a rapport with your audience, but it hasn’t helped me to grow my subscriber numbers in the way that I’d like. In last week’s issue, I half-heartedly begged readers to share Periodically with a friend and I did get three new signups. But in order to make real progress toward my goals, I need to kick it up a notch. Stay tuned – over the next four weeks I’ll be diving deep on reader acquisition and hopefully coming up with something interesting to say about that.

Periodically yours,

Bob Sherron