In the last Seinfeld on Marketing, I only briefly touched on the three types of groups. Today we’ll discuss more in depth about The Frankenstein Group.
The Frankenstein Group tries to mix and match a variety of ideas into one idea. The problem though is that the ideas are not cohesive and sometimes are blatantly contradictory so all that is left is a great big wad of confusion. By keeping all of the ideas, The Frankenstein Group tries to stand for everything and as you know if you try to stand for everything you end up standing for nothing.
Take, for example, the Swiss Army Knife. When was the last time you actually used the saw blade or the toothpick for that matter? Short of being McGuyver himself, one does not typically need all the features of the Swiss Army Knife. I mean, imagine yourself on your patio blissfully removing the last hunk of BBQ’ed steak from teeth with your handy toothpick and you glance over to see the neighbor’s errant tree limb blocking your rightful view of the neighborhood shuffleboard court. You quickly whip out your trusty saw and go to work (not very likely).
The Frankenstein Group is usually headed by a “people pleaser” – someone who can’t or won’t say “no” to anyone. The people pleaser’s ultimate goal is group unity. With this goal in mind, the people pleaser goes out of their way to make sure that everyone in the group feels that their ideas are valid, even to the point of trying to connect all of the mismatched inputs into one bloated and confusing combination of ideas (the input is valued more highly than the end product). The people pleaser also cannot stand the thought of developing a product or idea that will exclude any user. So they add a hodgepodge of features that they feel will appeal to the widest audience in the greatest number of circumstances.
Another example of The Frankenstein Group way of thinking is the wiki-like novel being produced at Novel Twists . Each author or aspiring author contributes one page to the overall novel. I am sure that each author left to themselves could produce a very well written fictional novel. However, working together using the format that does not exclude any suggestion or idea produces only a disconnected jumble of words that is hard to follow (the novel introduces a dozen characters by name before page 22).
Just like The Consensus Group, the end result of The Frankenstein Group is usually a mediocre idea or product. But rather than throwing out all of the ideas like the Consensus Group, The Frankenstein Group produces mediocrity by trying to keep all of the ideas and shaping them into one idea. Another difference from The Consensus Group is that the ideas of The Frankenstein Group are talked about because the combinations sound great at the time – the word of mouth though is typically short lived.
The TV and refrigerator combination is one example. It sounds quite cool – having a TV built into your refrigerator (or this refrigerator with two TVs!) so that you don’t miss a beat when the World Series comes around or when college hoops begin. But the reports out there are that you are buying a pretty good refrigerator and an average TV that tends to break or is hard to see from the location of the refrigerator in the kitchen (oh, and at $3,700 it’s quite expensive).
Tomorrow we’ll discuss the last group, The Interdependence Group.
Happy Wednesday everyone!