Why doesn’t cultural maturity match my product’s maturity?

In order to resolve this question, we need to begin with the basics.

What is consumer culture?

Consumer culture is simply the meanings that we, as people, create around the "things" in our lives.

These meanings can be conceptualized as the universe of topics that surrounds a particular "thing" in culture.

So, when you run a search on MotivAI, the algorithm analyzes the meanings surrounding your search term, and then calculates its maturity by determining two important aspects:

  1. How mature are the topics that surround the search term? This is determined by comparing the search term's topic universe to the macro universe of billions of topics that sit in our vector database.
  2. How stable are the topics that surround a search term (for this reason, this calculation requires at least a one-year time frame for analysis)?

What does maturity mean in relation to a product category?

If your product appears to be in the established ideas phase of cultural maturity, it means that even though it may be less known or early in the market, the consumer associates it with a cultural universe that is already established. To be specific, the motivations, attitudes, values, and fears that drive your topic are the same as those that drive more established topics in your industry/category.

What does this mean for my product?

Short Term

You're competing not just with direct competitors but also with many other indirect competitors that could be perceived to do what your product does. This means you can increase sales by simply outcompeting others through price reduction, promotion, and brand building.

Long term

If you want to genuinely carve out a unique space for your product or solution in the marketplace, you need to change the cultural context that your product currently lives in. That is, it needs to appeal to a slightly different set of motivations, attitudes, values, and fears. This would allow you to, over time, change the topic universe that surrounds your product in culture.

Take the example of a product like an Air Fryer. It appears to already sit in the mainstream of culture, but its sales numbers indicate anything but that.


This simply means that the cultural universe that the Air Fryer sits in is a mainstream one. Consumers don't see air friers in a different way than they might see many other products they link to the same cultural universe (even if these other products don't do exactly what the Air Fryer does).

A quick look at the macroculture indicates just that.


In such a situation, here are some possible ways in which one could approach the strategy around this product:

Short Term

1. Reduce the price.

2. Build a stronger awareness of the product's features and competitive benefits.

3. Increase promotional activities.

Medium-to-long Term

1. Change the name of the product - i.e. don't call it a fryer. Explore a different cultural space.

2. Develop a follow-up version of the product so it can play in a different cultural space. i.e. additional functionality.

3. Tie it into a more niche, growing culture - e.g. vegan cooking.