Avoiding Obsolescence In A Rapidly Changing World

Abandoning The Familiar In The Pursuit Of Progress, Opportunities, And Innovation

The struggle between choosing comfort and pursuing growth is deeply ingrained in human psychology and reflects the tension between security and the inherent human drive for progress. This conflict can be attributed to several factors. 

Firstly, comfort represents familiarity and a sense of stability. Humans have an innate aversion to uncertainty and risk, as they are evolutionarily wired to seek safety for survival. Choosing comfort often means sticking to known routines, environments, and patterns of behaviour, providing a sense of security and predictability. 

While comfort evokes safety, the pursuit of growth involves venturing into the unknown, embracing change, and taking risks. This can give rise to fear and anxiety, as humans grapple with the uncertainty associated with uncharted territories. Growth requires adaptation, resilience, and a willingness to face challenges, which can be mentally and emotionally taxing. 

In the realm of marketing, the concept of safety often equates to sticking with proven methods, established customer bases, and familiar market niches. It represents a comfort zone where routines and strategies have brought past success. On the other hand, growth implies embracing innovation, taking calculated risks, and exploring uncharted territories. The tension between these two options encapsulates the essence of crafting a successful marketing strategy, as marketers must decide whether to maintain the status quo or strive for expansion. 

Let’s step into such a marketer’s shoes. Naz oversees a brand that has carved out a secure niche in the market with consistent but moderate success. The allure of safety beckons, encouraging Naz to continue with well-worn strategies that have yielded predictable results. Yet, a latent desire for growth stirs within her, compelling her to consider venturing into unexplored avenues. 

Naz’s journey unfolds as she confronts the challenge of leaving behind the safety of the familiar. Initially hesitant, she recognises that growth requires a departure from the comfort zone. With a bold vision, she invests in market research, explores emerging trends, and develops innovative campaigns. The decision to step forward into growth proves transformative for her brand. Some benefits she sees are: 

  1. Increased Market Share: Embracing growth-oriented marketing strategies often involves expanding the brand’s reach into new markets or demographics. This expansion can result in an increase in market share, as the brand attracts a broader audience. 
  1. Competitive Advantage: In dynamic industries, staying comfortable with existing strategies may result in being surpassed by more innovative competitors. Choosing growth allows Naz to identify and leverage opportunities that can provide a competitive edge in the market. 
  1. Measurable Results and ROI: Growth-focused strategies often involve setting clear objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). This results-driven approach allows Naz to measure the success of marketing initiatives more effectively and demonstrate a positive return on investment (ROI). 
  1. Employee Morale and Creativity: Employees are more likely to be motivated and creative when working on projects that aim for growth and innovation. Choosing growth can boost team morale, encourage collaboration, and create an environment where new ideas are valued. 
  1. Professional Development: Naz, as a marketing manager, can also benefit personally and professionally from choosing growth. Successfully implementing innovative strategies can enhance her skill set, broaden her experience, and position her as a strategic and forward-thinking leader in the field. 

The dichotomy between growth and comfort was just one way Maslow encouraged us to think differently about behaviour. For more information on him, you can visit the page on Verywell Mind that discusses Maslow’s contributions to how we understand motivation: Abraham Maslow on Verywell Mind.  

Marketing Examples 

Beyond Meat: this company disrupted traditional notions of protein consumption by offering a range of plant-based alternatives that closely mimicked the taste and texture of animal-based products. Beyond Meat’s rapid expansion into mainstream markets, strategic partnerships with major food chains, and continuous product development showcased a dedication to growth that resonated with consumers seeking both culinary adventure and ethical consumption practices. 

Zara: this retailer’s commitment to staying on the cutting edge of fashion trends resonated with consumers who sought the latest styles. The brand’s ability to quickly translate runway trends into affordable, accessible clothing items allowed consumers to stay fashionable without the usual lag time associated with traditional fashion cycles. Zara’s growth-oriented approach also emphasized affordability. By offering trendy and stylish clothing at reasonable prices, the brand appealed to a wide demographic, attracting both fashion enthusiasts and budget-conscious consumers. 

Netflix: In the entertainment industry, Netflix is a brand that consistently chooses growth and innovation. Initially a DVD rental-by-mail service, Netflix transitioned into a streaming platform, disrupting the traditional cable and television model. By investing heavily in original content and global expansion, Netflix transformed into a dominant force in the streaming industry. Consumers embraced the brand for its convenience, diverse content offerings, and its willingness to challenge established norms in the entertainment landscape. 


While Abraham Maslow’s insights into the concept of growth over comfort may not be directly explored in marketing literature, his ideas on human motivation and psychology have influenced discussions about personal development and decision-making, which can be applied to marketing. Here are three books that touch upon related themes and provide valuable insights for marketers: 

Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman: Kahneman, a Nobel laureate in economics, delves into the two systems that drive human thinking. Understanding these systems can help marketers comprehend consumer decision-making processes, enabling them to create strategies that appeal to both emotional and rational aspects, potentially encouraging consumers to choose growth. 

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink: Pink explores human motivation beyond traditional rewards and punishments, aligning with Maslow’s ideas about self-actualisation. For marketers, this book provides insights into creating environments that foster employee and consumer motivation, steering them toward growth-oriented choices. 

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek: Sinek’s book emphasises the importance of understanding the “why” behind actions. Marketers can apply this principle to their strategies, framing their brand narratives in a way that resonates with consumers’ deeper values and aspirations, ultimately encouraging them to choose products or services that support personal and societal growth. 

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