I recently finished reading Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable and would strongly suggest that any business owner, manager, C-Level executive, or marketer read it.
His main thesis is that the marketing paradigm has changed and that instead of trying to market to a broad audience with traditional methods you must position, or change, your brand or company so that it highlights something that is remarkable and targets a very specific niche of early adopters. And that it is the early adopters (people who are open to your message and interested in what you have to say), that will spread the word (or sneeze) about your product.
Godin explains why conventional marketing strategies no longer work. That nobody listens to conventional advertising because they don’t trust it, and they don’t have time to listen to and evaluate messages for products or services that they most likely already have, or are using. His ideas build on those from Crossing the Chasm, The Tipping Point, Unleashing the Ideavirus, and Permission Marketing, and he argues that the only people that are open to new products or services are the Innovators and Early Adopters. And that ideaviruses are the most effective way to spread your message. It is by being phenomenal, and remarkable in some counter-intuitive way that you gain the attention of the Innovators and Early Adopters and that they will be the ones to sneeze your idea virus to the rest of the marketplace.
He includes a wide variety of case-studies and examples and the book is written in a very straightforward and approachable manner.
One aspect of the book that I found amusing was how he weaved his own teachings into it; encouraging people who wanted to be different (the early adopters) to give his methods a try and to share (sneeze) his book with others. Brilliant.
So, does your business have a Purple Cow?? And if so, who are your Interested Sneezers?