Following my post: What can brands learn from the Mathematics of Beauty, lets continue our tour of the sciences, watching Dan Cobley from Google describe what physics has taught him about marketing:
1) Newton's Law (Acceleration = Force/Mass): Larger mass requires more force to change its direction.
Marketing learning: The more massive a brand, the more baggage it has, therefore the more force is need to change its positioning. It's an argument that supports the use of product brands in business categories that are always changing (e.g. technology). You want to make sure you don't have all your brand eggs in a obsolete technology basket.
2) Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle: It's impossible to measure exactly the state of a particle because the act of measuring changes it.
Marketing learning: The act of observing consumers changes the way they behave. This is a well-known problem and why focus groups are so problematic. Better to measure what consumers actually do rather than what they say they'll do.
3) Scientific method: You cannot prove a hypothesis. You can only disprove it.
Marketing learning: You can invest in a brand for a long time but all that investment can be undone by one disproving incident. Think BP, Toyoyta, Tiger Woods.
4) Entropy: The Second Law of Thermodynamics: Over time, entropy (system disorder) will always increase
Marketing learning: In this digital world, brand managers have less and less control over "their" brands. Dan argues that this is a good thing, that marketers should embrace this dispersion of brand energy because it ultimately lets you get closer to the consumer and tap into and benefit from their enthusiasm.