Throughout the fourth chapter of Lateral Marketing, Kotler and Trias de Bes discuss how “new market or category creation is the most efficient way to compete in mature markets where microsegmentation and an excess of brands do not leave room for new opportunities” (2003, p. 72).
The cited examples of Lateral Marketing by Kotler and Trias de Bes tie in with The Tipping Point in that they take into account the “power of context” and the “stickiness factor”. The power of context states that one must accept that the immediate context of behavior is the one that guides one’s actions. The stickiness factor deals with the small but critical adjustments in that an idea is presented to the average individual, so that it can overcome previous weaknesses and become memorable.
Lateral marketing uses the power of context and the stickiness factor concepts of Gladwell to create “a simple way to package information that, under the right circumstances, can make it irresistible” (Gladwell, 2002, p. 132). The case of “Big Brother” TV Contest in the United States and the Sony Walkman in Japan are good examples of well executed lateral marketing.
Unfortunately, the abuse of segmentation and positioning has created an aversion for the introduction of new brands. The information age and excessive amount of choice has proved a bit counter-productive for consumerism. The stickiness problem is even more problematic for marketers in the United States.
It would seem plausible that both Gladwell and Kotler and Trias de Bes would agree in that the use of shock tactics by advertisers, publicists and celebrities grab public attention runs the risk of desensitizing us as culture and making us immune to the eyebrow-raising, attention-grabbing ploys of marketers.