The competition in conflicting categories – snacks versus mobile phones

What an interesting concept.

“In the western markets consumers are very rarely really hungry. We consume a lot of our calories just to fill gaps – gaps when we are bored, waiting, annoyed, etc. This we see when we observe consumers in their everyday lives. In a recent project where we asked teens to photo-blog (with their mobile phones) their snacking situations, we saw that many of these were ‘boredom relief’ moments where they were waiting for trains, buses or their
unpunctual friends. And when we actually spend time with this audience – a whole day or just an afternoon – we see this moment crop up time and again. However, today it is being filled differently than maybe 5 or 10 years ago. Instead of quickly buying a Mars bar at the nearby kiosk, a young teen today is just as likely to spend the few minutes waiting for the bus writing text messages to their friends. In some contexts, the text message has become ‘top of mind’ over the chocolate bar.”

This is described in a paper called “Death or Depths? Understanding the Obvious Beyond the Obvious”. It is a paper about the state of qualitative market research (e.g. focus groups, which means that research agencies put a couple of people in a room to discuss an issue or a new product).

I am not discussion the overall conclusion of the paper that market research agencies are (sometimes) probing to deeply into consumer’s minds to find new ways to market their products.

I believe and the article concurs with this, that behaviours, values and beliefs are so closely linked, and that a consumer (or a person) is constantly expressing his or her thoughts in the style they dress, act, talk, or go about their normal way of life. If you learn NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming, this is a simple and very obvious conclusion. Heck, I sometimes know the style people dress by just listening to them on the phone!!!

I like the idea that there are product categories that compete against each other for a consumer’s valuable and short time, that I didn’t think about before.

Who would have thought of the competition of snacks versus mobile phones? But clearly, it is about the time a consumer spends somewhere, and how he or she spends time – thus resources.

Like, while I type this entry, I am not able to do anything else. Thus, the time a student spends on blogging also competes against time spend on studying. The time I spend on the road in traffic jams competes against productive marketing, thus is a loss to my company, Asia Mind Dynamics.

Got it?

So, in which areas do you spend more time over another, and what do you give up in your life to follow another motivation? And, of course, is it all in alignment with your overall goals?


Andreas is the founder of Asia Mind Dynamics and a certified trainer of internationally recognised certification programmes:

  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) with the American Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming (ABNLP),
  • NLP Coach Training with the Coaching Division of ABNLP,
  • The Words That Change Minds -Language and Behaviour Profile of which he also is one of 17 Global Master Trainers
  • Creating Your Future Coaching™ Techniques at the Masters Level with the International Timeline Therapy Association
  • Hypnosis with the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH)
  • Master Trainer with the International Association of Counsellors and Therapists (IACT).

We also train companies to achieve higher performance especially through our signature programmes on Leadership, Sales and Advanced Communications.

To find out more about us or our programme and what makes us so very different as trainer and coaches, send an email to andreas.dorn AT or contact us at +6012 287 5048.

You can also follow us on Twitter or find us on FaceBook.


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