Marketing Idea No. 179 – Whatever you think, think the opposite

In his groundbreaking book “Whatever you think, think the opposite”, Paul Arden made a convincing case about doing unpredictable things and getting stupendous results. If for example, the whole world is going ga-ga about pop songs, invest in rock songs. If pink is the color of the season, choose red as the theme color of your bash. If everybody is keen on buying bank stocks, buy service industry stocks. If everybody is targetting the youth segment, target the old.

The key is to do things outside your comfort zone, to reject conventional wisdom and take risks that seem unreasonable but attainable.

It makes a lot of sense. And here are a few pointers from both Tom Peters and Paul Arden to chew upon.

1. TRAPPED. It’s not because you are making the wrong decisions. It’s because you are making the right ones. We try to make sensible decisions based on the facts in front of us. The problem with making sensible decisions is that so is everybody else

2. Making the safe decision is dull, predictable and leads nowhere new. The unsafe decision causes you to think and respond in a way you hadn’t thought of. And that thought will lead to other thoughts which will help you achieve what you want. Start taking bad decisions and it will take you to a place where others only dream of being

3. ARE YOU BEING REASONABLE? Most people are reasonable; that’s why they only do reasonably well



  1. Advertising guru David Ogilvy said something related to your story. He said get a big idea, an idea that no one has come up with before. Ogilvy said “don’t bunt, but swing for the fences every time. Compete with the immortals. Stand out, try and be great”.

    This goes along with your “think opposite”. Be different, be bold and see what happens. If not, you and your efforts will not stand out from the others.

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