The Mix Tape, Vol. 65
Welcome to this week’s Mix:
☠️The death of the career trajectory
❓I failed this quiz
💰The power of ancillary sales
📈Disney+ destroys subscriber goals
The death of the career trajectory
The idea of a linear career trajectory is based on a long-gone era:
Estimates during the 1950’s and 1960s estimate that average growth rates in the US were 4-5% annually.
This period of 20+ years after World War II is now called “The Long Boom” or the “Golden Age of Capitalism.” It combined constant labor participation rate with massive boom in economic growth.
It was in this period that the “steady career path” idea as an ideal was born.
Yet we still try to serve this master. It’s time to reset corporate and personal expectations about career success:
If we care about people and their ability to thrive in the modern world, we are going to need to abandon the idea that having a “steady career trajectory” is the best strategy for navigating life. At best, it can provide people a fulfilling career that is aligned with their values. But for most people, it crowds out the drive to live the life they want.
COVID-19 might not accelerate this trend. But hopefully it will help us see that a non-linear path is already the reality.
I failed this quiz
And as someone who has written and reviewed a lot of marketing copy, getting this wrong stung.
Try it for yourself:
The only difference lies in the headlines.
Headline One: Specific, quantifiable, and speaks to a clear bottom-line business improvement.
Headline Two: Speaks to a unique and dramatically improved end user experience, without a directly quantifiable business improvement.
(Spoiler alert time.)
I was sure Headline One converted better.
But Headline Two was the clear winner.
The takeaway: marketing tests matter! Lean on your experience and expertise, sure. But test your own assumptions. The results are often surprising and counter-intuitive.
The power of ancillary sales
Ancillary sales—offering products and services that complement your core offering—are found money.
Not only can ancillary sales improve the bottom line, they can improve the customer experience and allow your biggest fans to more deeply associate with your brand.
Which is why Tesla created a tequila.
I’m not sure that 66% of Ferrari revenue really comes from merch. But you can be sure it’s a substantial number regardless.
”Tesla Tequila” launched for $250 a bottle and sold out in hours. Now the bottles command $500-$1,000 on eBay.
Elon Musk is no stranger to ancillary—or adjacent—product offerings. To raise money for the Boring Company, Musk:
Sold $10M worth of flamethrowers. (Seriously.)
Sold $600,000 worth of Boring Company hats.
If you have a base of loyal and enthusiastic customers, and/or an aspirational brand that’s out of reach for some consumers, there’s money in finding creative ways for people to further support your brand.
Disney+ reaches five-year goal … in one year
Disney announced Thursday that its platform surpassed 73.7 million subscribers. It’s remarkable growth considering Disney’s goal, at its launch, was to reach 60 million to 90 million subscriptions by 2024.
Someone (can’t remember who) described Disney+ as a “parenting tax.” If you have kids, you almost have to buy the service.
(This is generally true if you’re a fan of Star Wars, also. I mean, have you seen The Mandalorian?)
Anyway, what does this mean for the future of theaters? I don’t know. Those huge screens and sound systems are still an asset in a post-COVID world.
I expect more mixing-and-matching between theaters and streaming services. Why couldn’t The Mandalorian, for example, show its season opener in theaters first?
It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds once we get past this pandemic.
Let’s get there very soon.
Thank you for reading and sharing.
Please hit reply if you have questions, comments, or open rebuttals. (Or just want to say hi.)