Swimming with the Fishes

Swimming with the Fishes

By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: October 28, 2019

I was on a flight to Chicago and had a fascinating chat with my seatmate. We spoke about business through the lens of fish. He said, “I’m not interested in what the Killer Whales are doing. I want to know what is going on with the baitfish. I want my team to think like the baitfish.”

This may seem counterintuitive, but here is his logic. Baitfish are influencers – what happens with them shakes up the whole system. “Our clients are the innovators within their industries, constantly needing new ideas and solutions. My team must have the same approach. We need to be proactive and seek out new niches. The baitfish can show the way.”

He went on to explain what business can learn from the food chain.

  • Primary Producers – these are microorganisms. These are the products, cultures, aspirations, wants and needs festering within the market place.
  • Primary Consumers – these feed on the primary producers. Pay close attention to what they ‘bite’ on and where they move; what they do has an effect on those who feed on them. These consumers are the baitfish, the influencers within the food chain.
  • Secondary Consumers – seals and larger fish. These consumers feed on the primary consumers.
  • Top Predators – the Killer Whales.

Large fish eat small fish. So if you want to catch the big fish, you first need to hook and understand the small fish.

In order to not sink within a flooded marketplace, a brand must not only look over its shoulder for the whales, but it has to also to seek out the smaller baitfish and ride their wave.