Friday, March 2

Seth Godin: The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

I love reading Seth Godin's blog and watching his videos but there's one video I keep coming back to, his TED talk: Sliced Bread and Other Marketing Delights.

Here are a couple of highlights:

Ideas that spread, win
Take this idea/phrase: The best thing since sliced bread. When the technology to slice bread was developed in the early 1900s no one cared about it. For 15 years no one cared about it, not until Wonderbread came along. They spread the idea.

Don't market to the masses, market to a few people who are completely obsessed with something
Another thing Seth says -- one that seemed counter-intuitive to me at first -- is don't market to the masses, market to a niche, to folks who are completely obsessed with something.

- Lionel Poilane. He sold bread to people who not only cared about eating great tasting bread, he sold bread to people who cared immensely how it was made.

- Aeron Chairs When Herman Miller designed a chair for himself, he wanted something comfortable and inviting to look at. Most of us want that as well, but at about $900 per chair it's a niche market. (Can you imagine Kevin's reaction (Kevin of Dragon Den fame) to this idea? I can just see him asking: Who's going to buy an office chair for $900 when I can pick one up at IKEA for $100?). Some people really want a comfortable chair that is great to look at. That's Herman Miller's niche.

Tiffany & Co. Everyone knows this company name, but it sells things that only a few folks can afford and that absolutely no one needs. Yet, in 2012, when many companies are closing their doors, Tiffany's is showing record profits.

Don't be very good, no one will notice
This is outrageously counter-intuitive, at least for me. So I started hunting for examples. I didn't have to look far. Here's what I thought of:

Good for Rebecca Black, but her success does illustrate a point. Something doesn't have to be very good in order to succeed.

As always, thanks for reading.

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