Posts Tagged Godin

Competition and the Consumer’s Mind


HappLand!

Formulas, Goals, and the Battlefield

I usually agree with Seth Godin on most things, but this one is a bit too far out for me.  I’ve included the entire post on his blog below, it short, and also a link to his blog if you want to read any of the comments there.  So take a quick read and I’ll continue below:

Compared to magical

The easiest way to sell yourself short is to compare your work to the competition. To say that you are 5% cheaper or have one or two features that stand out–this is a formula for slightly better mediocrity.

The goal ought to be to compare yourself not to the best your peers or the competition has managed to get through a committee or down on paper, but to an unattainable, magical unicorn.

Compared to that, how are you doing?

– Seth Godin

Formula: Short Sale

I do agree with Godin that many companies sell themselves short.  Always trying to lower the bar in the hope of gaining a few customers.    Where I disagree with Godin on this is that it’s not because of the comparison to competitors, but rather a poor strategy for taking consumers away from those competitors based on the tactics that are short sighted.

Goal: Long Term Relationship

The tactics you use should be based on the principle that your company is seen as the better choice.  There are many areas a consumer could focus to answer this question.  It is your job to make the answer self-evident when it come to comparing your company to your competitors.

The Battlefield

We fight on the battlefield of the consumer’s mind.  It’s one of the smallest battlefield you will ever find yourself on, about 6 inches.   You should create campaigns that, hopefully, take up territory.  And if you do it well, you should hold more ground then your competitors.  The strategy is different for each company.  It is based on the position of your product in the market place and how our competitors currently stand.  We recommend following the “Marketing Warfare” strategies laid out by Ries and Trout.  So make sure your strategy fits your goals.

Because the last time I checked … your consumers aren’t looking to buy Magical Unicorns … and I’m fairly certain you haven’t hired anyone with unicorn making skills recently.

Good Hunting and would love to read your comments on this topic.

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YOU 2.0 – The Storymaker


For the last several weeks I’ve been thinking about the concepts of influence, purpose, drive, and accomplishment.  As it turns out the topic naturally surfaced while reading books, reading blogs, posting my comments on blogs,  the podcasts that happen to be next on my iPod nano, and even the keynote speech at the ‘Opening Days’ event at the college I teach at.   I simply couldn’t escape the topic so I started documenting my thoughts and this post is the outcome.

Storymaker vs. Storyteller

“Chance favors the prepared” – Louis Pasteur

The term “Storymaker” surfaced in a Duct Tape Marketing podcast in which the authors of the book Content Rules were being interviewed.  The podcast itself was not about this topic solely but rather the concept of preemptive content creation planning and activity  out before it happens and making a story out of it.  The premise was that ‘content rules’ and the best content comes from a planned approach to the situation at hand.

Around the same time, the Manager’s Tools podcast had a topic on “assumptive goal setting” which immediately had me thinking about the Storymaker concept.  In this case they were talking about managing projects and staffs but it easily fit into the thought of managing situations you are in.  Before we begin a set of tasks, let’s say talking to  Southwest Bell on a problem, we would make certain assumptions of what we want to accomplish and how we will do it and of course how much we are willing to spend in time, energy, and resources.

As you can imagine, I listen to podcasts when I’m on the move (much to the disgust of my wife who thinks I’m being very rude!).  But at the same time I ran across the above two podcasts, I also was reading Zig Ziglar’s “See You at the Top”, and as it happens, I was in the section on Goals.  This is a great book to get if you still can find it.  I know it’s dated but well worth the search and addition to your library.  Oh, and i have to throw in a little inspirations from “Clue Train Manifesto” as well.

Here are some of the characteristics of a Storymaker:

  • Intend to Make a Story –
  • Build your Assumptions
  • “That’s Not Good Enough” is a phrase spoken often
  • Finds meaning and purpose in everything
  • Believe every next event can be a work of art

Important: You are the SAME

You are a brand.  Your brand hasn’t changed.  I don’t want anyone thinking they have to change who they are.  (I fully expect you will change something when you think ahead before doing something though.) I’m not asking you to reinvent yourself, simply understand how your role impacts others in your story.  You now have the ability to influence others more then they have in any other time in history.  Technology has opened the door to allow a common person (small brand) to interact with large company (large brand) and shape the outcome by using tools like social media.  We have moved from the time of Word of Mouth to Word of Keyboard to Word of Friend List / Followers / Subscribers / Contacts.

If you Make a Story that is sharable, compelling, and inspiring, you have a stronger likelihood of having your social network share that story then if you are simply passing along a story.  If your social network passes it on, your influence is now exponential rather then the old linear word of mouth.

It is a matter of INFLUENCE.  It is a matter of improving your influence.  Chris Brogan had a great post on “Improving Your Influence“.    It’s also good to understand that technology now has the ability to help you understand how you are doing with your reach by using simple reports.

Thought Provoking Quotes

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose” – Viktor Frankl

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“With definite goals you release your own power, and things start happening” – Zig Ziglar

“No matter what your job is, no matter where you work, there’s a way to create a project (on your own, on weekends if necessary), where the excitement is palpable, where something that might make a difference is right around the corner. Hurry, go do that.” – Godin (emphasis added)

Application

Ok, so what do we do with this?  How can you take the Storymaker concept and apply it to YOU 2.0, the brand?  Can we take everyday life and transform our navigation through it from a passive, powerless, storytelling existence to a assumptive, empowered, storymaking role?

Here are some thought:

  • Work – in the next week, month, year – plan out what story you would want to tell, not only that, but what story someone starting in your field would be motivated by and willing to embrace as an example of how they want to be seen. Analyst, Assistant, President, Janitor – makes no difference – Make A Story!
  • Sports – Plan out your story, game by game, season by season.  Create a story that someone starting in your sport would be motivated by and willing to embrace as an example of how they want to be seen in the future.
  • Society – create a story for your community.  Write a story that motivates your fellow citizen to get off the sideline and become a positive player in their world.
  • Self – Your next chapter begins today.  Decide now what you want written about your life.  Become a motivation to your next generation.  Be something that others would be willing to emulate.  Create a story that others would want to share.

I would love to know your thoughts on this post.  Let me know what stories you are now planning to create.  Become the Storymaker, leave behind the storyteller.

Good Hunting.

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