Five Marketing Approaches from Star Trek: The Next Generation
Marketing approaches are everywhere: in our business lives and our personal lives, everywhere we look – even amongst the stars. If you’re over the age of 30, you’re likely familiar with Star Trek: The Next Generation. And yes, we can even find marketing approaches from the characters – each with their different-yet-effective approach.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Picard’s approach is always hand-tailored to the situation or the individual. Diplomacy is his foundation, and he always seeks peaceful and productive negotiations whenever possible. However, some see this as weakness and try to exploit it. But they soon discover Picard is not a man to be pushed. The lamb becomes a lion very quickly if trifled or toyed with. Just look at Q – an all-powerful being who continually returns to test Picard – only to continually be bested. A man who gets his way even from a godlike character is a man to study. His approach to marketing is to appeal to his specific audience in a positive way to win them over. If that fails, he uses more aggressive tactics, making him both a force to be reckoned with and an excellent leader.
Commander William T. Riker
Will Riker is a smooth character. As they say, “the men want to be him, the ladies want to be with him.” He’s a friendly, likable sort who treats his people with respect, and is respected in turn. As second-in-command, he runs a tight ship. If something goes wrong due to an oversight on someone else’s part, Riker feels it looks poorly on him. His approach to marketing is to pull out his trademark bearded grin and schmooze his way into people’s good graces. If the addressees happen to be female, he’s not beneath the occasional flirt to remind them, “Hey, I’m handsome.” However, like Picard, Riker has an aggressive streak when his other charms prove ineffective. In marketing, aggression can be a good thing – just try to keep it passive–aggressive.
Lieutenant Commander Worf
Lacking the obvious charms and appearance of Riker, and the patience and diplomacy of Picard, Worf falls back on his Klingon heritage: duty, honor, and respect. While aggression tends to be Worf’s primary response, he also acknowledges it is often not the best approach, and so falls back on diligence and tactical knowledge. A skilled warrior, he often crafts plans to catch his opponents off-guard and gain the upper-hand. His approach to marketing is respect. He shows the utmost respect for everyone and receives it in exchange. It’s difficult to disagree with someone when they have treated you with such dignity and honor. (It’s also difficult to disagree with a large, angry Klingon, but that might be a hard marketing tactic to replicate.)
Counselor Deanna Troi
Deanna is an empath, meaning she can sense the emotions and intentions of others. But amazingly, she tends to use her training and natural talents more so than her telepathic gift. Her single greatest attribute is her ability to listen. When others speak, Deanna stays quiet but absorbs everything until it is time to respond. She rarely allows her emotions to guide her, rather opting to explore the feelings of others to transform them into something more productive. She also has trained herself to remember everything; she listens intently, then can effortlessly repeat the discussions of a lengthy meeting to almost every detail. Her approach to marketing is making the speaker feel important by listening, then responding in a very specific, helpful way. If there were more of this in the world, marketing approaches would universally be a lot easier.
Lieutenant Commander Data
Being an android, Data has but one marketing attribute: being analytical. While his naiveté in the ways of emotional beings is charming, it is unintentional, and thereby cannot be technically qualified as a valid “approach”. His constant devotion to analyzing and deducing each situation, however, is entirely intentional. His reputation for providing flawless facts and figures is almost universally accepted, and thereby, so is his word. Even adversaries naturally take his analyses as gospel. To create and maintain such a reputation for accuracy grants Data’s approach to marketing one of the strongest on the Enterprise-D. But, as we all know – he’d gladly trade it in a moment to become what he has always longed to be: human.
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Well, okay. That’s not true. We have many clients, so they’ve all done it before. But the title didn’t make sense otherwise, so just let it go. Or, as Captain Picard would say, “Make it so.” Give us a shout, and we’ll help you and your potential clients . . . engage.