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The Hera Drive: Blood is Thicker than Dollars


I thought this would be an appropriate weekend to cover that primitive and all-important drive, which predates mammals but is strongest in that class: the desire to protect and care for children.


Humans aren't sea turtles. We don't have children by the hundreds and bury them in the sand and leave them to the cruel gantlet of nature. I love sea turtles, but I'm glad I wasn't born one. Instead, humans invest in a very small number, often a single child, to carry their genes into eternity.


That's a hell of an investment, and requires years, many would argue a lifetime, of care and consideration. Humans up the ante more than any other animal by using our amazing gifts of language and economy to leave memetic and material gifts in addition to their genetic gifts (that's a whole other article in the future).


This drive can be seen especially in mothers. Cornered rats will sometimes attack and wound cats to protect their litters. Some spiders have a twofold sacrifice: the males allows the female to eat him and use his body to produce healthy children, and once they are born, the children eat their mother to increase their chances of survival. College tuition doesn't sound too expensive now, does it?


This drive is so powerful that in many animals, humans included, that even people without children are much more eager to protect a child than an adult in danger, even if that child is of no relation to them. It's even become a cliche: the hand-wringing figure wailing to "think of the children!"


How does this pertain to marketing? If a product can give a child one of those memetic or material legs-up in society, most parents would jump at the chance to make use of it. Educational products, medicines, vitamins, are all examples of parental instincts being used to gravitate towards a good or service.


But that's just the beginning: this is easily one of the most versatile drives out there. It can be used to sell insurance, homes (close to a good school or far from a busy road, for example), foods, gadgets, security systems, even guns or magazines or a particular breed of dog!


When engaging an audience, whether it be children, parents, or grandparents, never overlook this drive, as it can be the first and the last consideration when buying or selling. Blood is thicker than dollars.

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