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Overcome the Status Quo Barrier Like Malcolm Gladwell

January 10, 2012  

"Malcolm Gladwell sold millions of copies of his book The Tipping Point, and he made millions of dollars on the concept he wrote about," writes Tim Reisterer at MarketingProfs. "But, he didn't discover it." That idea, it turns out, belonged to Morton Grodzins. Likewise, it was K. Anders Ericsson—not Gladwell—who originated the "deliberate practice" concept presented in Outliers."

So why did Gladwell make millions of dollars while Grodzins and Ericcson did not? According to Reisterer, "Gladwell was able to take very geeky, academic concepts and connect with the buying public, getting them to part with their money. The other guys didn't."

In other words, it's all about messaging. And if you're watching your competitors profit from your good ideas, you need to tell your story in a different way. Here's how:


Tell customers how you fit in their story, not how they fit in yours. You're up against a status quo barrier—customers tend to like things the way they are. Your task is to show them how they're evolving, and how the strengths of your product or service lines up with the changes in their lives.

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