How many shampoo brands can you name spontaneously? The average is about five for shampoo category. Within the context of merchandising, that figure is quite dependent on product category structure and distribution rate (the number of brands) in the shelf space. It could be as low as two when the category is inactive and calm such as kitchen detergent and as high as five when the category is active and noisy such as shampoo or skincare….
Now, ask yourself: How many blogs can you name spontaneously? Or, how many do you subscribe and consume? What is your blog repertoire? If it is greater than, say, ten, then we could say this category is quite different from the rest of products or services especially those we consumer in our daily life.
He bets that the average is 30 — more than other media brands you could probably name. What does that mean? Not sure. Maybe it means we’re just people, not brands.
: Separately, I was reading a piece in Ad Age with outgoing Time Warner exec Don Logan, who was asked what was different about the publishing business today and replied:
Too many magazines. Everybody needs to prune their portfolio a little bit. Go out to a newsstand and there’s so many out there jammed in that it’s hard to find them. And most of the magazines are not very good… they just throw things together thinking they can generate some advertising.
In that view — media 1.0 — outlets and brands are a zero sum game of limited shelf space. In the new view — the distributed-to-the-edge internet — there is no scarcity of brand space. Now some will argue that there is, instead, a scarcity of attention but I don’t disagree: We all have the same attention we always had, we now get to chose to spend it more wisely, that’s all.