In the last Seinfeld on Marketing, I only briefly touched on the three groups. For the next few days we’ll go into greater detail about the Consensus Group, the Frankenstein Group and the Interdependent Group.
First, the Consensus Group. The Consensus Group only produces ideas where all of the rough edges have been carefully and meticulous made smooth, the unique soul has been sucked dry and the proper amount of Al Gore-like boring drudgery has been dispersed through the idea.
This group loves to be non-offensive and does not want to “rock the boat” or leave anyone behind by being too “edgy” or “radical”. They also try to play it safe and appeal to the masses. The problem is that there really are no more masses. Today’s world is made up of millions of micro communities that have very specific needs and wants.
Take for example, the newly reintroduced Loaded Breakfast Burrito from Hardee’s (East coast) / Carl’s Jr. (West coast). This “meal” does not appeal to everyone, but Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. never intended it to. To their micro community, this is just what they want… a 900-calorie, 50 grams of fat, kaleidoscope of artery clogging eggs, diced ham, bacon, sausage, salsa and shredded cheddar needed to shock their morning minds back into coherence (or something like that). The idea though is that the Loaded Breakfast Burrito makes no apologies. It’s lives on the edge.
The Consensus Group would have taken the idea of a breakfast burrito and made it smaller to appeal to the “average” appetite. Or closer to the truth, they would have found out in focus groups that many people do not like the breakfast burrito concept and would have offered a plate with two eggs, two slices of bacon and some toast (which of course would be ignored or at least forgotten by most everyone that ate it).
No one ever talks about the ideas or products developed from the Consensus Group. People need edges, something unique, in order to talk. The ideas developed by the Consensus Group are easily forgotten, are “good enough” and mediocre at best.