Definition: Used to describe a class of goods for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market.
I’ve been in the traffic exchange industry basically since day one. These wonderful programs supply web site owners and affiliates with essentially unlimited low cost (or free) traffic. On paper, it’s the perfect deal…I look at your website, you look at mine. Simple. To the point. And effective.
Along the way, people started opening their own traffic exchanges. A few times in the past decade plus it seemed like there was a new T.E. launching every week. Things have slowed down now and more new launches seem to come from the viral mailer side of things. Regardless, the flood was on and people started to ‘own’ these things like kids collected baseball cards.
Not much effort was ever placed on the long term growth strategies of the programs and you started to see them fall by the way side. They would launch to lukewarm promotion and then die off.
The problem was this…Nothing really separated one from the other. Sure the owner may have been different but the same people seemed to join them, surf them and promote them.
Essentially, they have become commodities.
When something becomes a commodity, the only difference is price. The lower the price, the more you can sell. It’s a very dangerous business plan and something lots of traffic exchange pundits have been fighting for years. The problem still remains though, how can you differentiate one T.E. from the next?
I would love to hear your opinion on this and I look forward to the comments but I’ll leave you with this…This is why I’ve been such a huge fan of not only personal branding but also the social chats. You see, this is what makes something different.
You. The owner. The surfer. The community.
Maybe if we work more on the people side of things and less on the click through rate of a banner, we will stop having to compete on price alone.
What are your thoughts?