The herd mentality not good for business


Sheep are one of the best herding animals. As a matter of fact, they are brilliant at it. They would win gold medals forever in herding if it were an Olympic sport, they are that good. Why? Herding is coded into their DNA. Lambs too are taught by their mums at a very early age how to follow… how to herd. So they get a double whammy on herding, one from instinct and the other from being taught. Why is herding so important? The answer is as you would imagine, protection and preservation. Two key animal instincts. Because they are unsure and fearful of new people or environments they naturally herd. This is their only protection. Staying close as a group makes it hard for a predator to pick one off especially the young or old as they are the most vulnerable. They keep moving as a herd which causes confusion to the would-be predator.  This confusion acts as a weapon. The predator becomes disoriented and then tired, which leads to giving up. They would rather focus on an easier meal. 

This blind herding mentality as already discussed is a great benefit, but like all great traits they can have their evil alter-ego. In this case it can lead to tragic, even dire consequences. Blindly following the herd can have its downfalls quite literally. In fact 400 sheep plunged to their deaths in eastern Turkey. They, the 399 sheep, blindly followed the leader sheep as it decided a 15 metre ravine was a doable jump. The 399 followed in suit even though they had just watched the one in front of them jump to their death. This type thinking is all to ubiquitous.

Why is this important?

Because we do not want to get caught up in just following the herd blindly to our demise. This does not happen immediately like the sheep, but slowly overtime. The herd are all the other products, services and brands that look and smell the same as ours and because they do not value standing out and being different they blend in, become homogenous and get lost. Reacting when it is too late and not pro-acting [think I just made up a new word] by communicating a different message consistently over time. Because they do not value being different, they will not invest in it. They are simply too fearful to take a risk and be different, so they take the easier option… to be like everyone else. It’s safe. Can you blame them? The problem with not valuing being different or being fearful is it will ultimately lead to a nasty crash landing just like the sheep. To be seen and heard [sorry] you must communicate a compelling, simple and authentic message which your audience values in a creative way. This takes work. This take consistency. This takes thought, but most of all it takes bravery. 

O