The wisest of businesses follow the trends. To use a surfer analogy, the real propellent is to catch the wave. Not after it has crested, nor even in the middle of it; but to be perfectly positioned to take the full force of what it offers you, to drive you forward. And, as any good surfer knows, this comes from scanning the horizon, looking for the one to ride—often, in fact, passing up the smaller ones.

And so it is with business. There are waves of societal shift. These will crash forward whether or not we participate. But advantageously positioned, we reap benefits.

On the other hand, fads likewise come and go. The pet rock, certain clothing styles, etc. They may even make a high crest, but they crash quickly. And offer nothing of sustaining—or transforming—value. Why do I write all of this? From a marketing point of view, the real value is in discovering, and pursuing your specific target market group; not the clever fads (which, in my mind, are akin to junk food.) Currently, I personally view GEICO and DirectTV in this way. Although they are spending billions, and although they may even create great “buzz”, these are concepts that crash quickly, and do not give you the force of the true “big wave”.

Once you know who is your target market group, based on your own personal business strength, this is where the real, propelling growth happens. Because your clients are satisfied with real substance, they will return and refer, again and again — each time growing stronger and stronger in loyalty: The true wave.

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