Homeotelic responses are the most important type of action. Introduced here, someone who wanted to lose weight and save money would learn to cook for themselves. Cooking (homeotelic) satisfies both goals.
Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club used homeotelic approaches. Their first goal was cheaper razors and their second goal was easier razors. Online subscriptions achieved both goals.
Competitors like Gillette were forced into heterotelic responses. They couldn’t move towards easier because of their existing retail goals.
Makeup company Trinny London’s CMO Shira Feuer spoke with Rory Sutherland about how she manages the brand in a homeotelic way. Here are three ways.
- Trinny London uses real people not models as their models. This is a good bit of differentiation. We’re like you the ads state.
- The branding is like the models: nice but not fancy. The copy isn’t polished and the images aren’t photoshopped.
- The company uses gifts, not discounts to extend value. Gifts are CAC Trojan horses.
If the Trinny London brand goal is nice and friendly, then not-models, simple copy, and free gifts all work toward that.
Feuer also worked at Burberry and tried to bring that aesthetic to the makeup world. But it was too polished. What works at Burberry does not work at Trinny London. Feuer also consulted with companies and remembers being told you should never pay full price for a Domino’s Pizza because the discounting is built into the pricing model. What works at Domino’s Pizza does not work at Trinny London.
The Domino’s Pizza turnaround was built around changing the culture, improving but not perfecting the pizza, allowing social media, and building their data prowess. That’s a great homeotelic plan – for DP.
Really, this is one of my favorite books.