seth godin

Please, please don’t go

In a tight / tightening market, it is easy to draw a correlation between slowing sales, and losing market share and running to safety. Brands can easily focus on what they do best, and do more of it. After all, that’s why the brand has the market share it has to date.

The problem with this attitude though, is that this doesn’t address the principle question: Why are they losing customers in the first place?

Taking the most recent campaign for a well known Australian beer, for example, the notion being put forward is that beer is a real man’s drink, and that they’re manliest one of all, they may as well run the tag line: stop being a latte sipping nancy boy and wrap your hand around a bottle of our stuff.

But will that really address the problem of them losing market share? What is really being said here is “we’re great, you’re the problem”.

Rather than defensively trying to hold their current position they should be reaching out to new markets. Perhaps the solution lies with a new design of their cans and bottles – after all new designs has worked for companies such as Apple, and the Dutch Boy paint company, or perhaps, no matter how much they try their market is shrinking – can you imagine any reasonable level of marketing inventiveness working for a typewriter producer at this point?

If a brand is seeing its market share shrinking the very worst thing they can do is retreat or simply try to tread water. Companies should take some time (not so much the market gets away from them) to assess where to go, and do something strategic and bold to find a new market.

“The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.” ~David Friedman

Ah blogging, did I miss you too?

Ah blogging, that slightly-older-uncle in the ‘new media’ family.

You know what? I missed it, I missed it like crazy. I missed being a part of a conversation, I missed contributing, but more importantly I missed listening, reading and seeing other people’s opinions. Blogging, in my opinion, is one of the best things you can get into, even if you’re just a lurker for a while first.

Forrester Research did some amazing, well, research about percentages of people who create, engage, use, comment and lurk, it’s below (until they ask me to remove it)

I suppose it comes back to an issue of feeling like you’re part of a group, an immersion, so to speak, as Seth Godin would call it, a tribe. But it’s also worth considering that’s it more than just being a part of something. It’s is about being heard in that group. You’re not just a follower, you’re a contributor, even if your voice is small and only a few people hear it, at least it was heard.

Cutting off the blogging voice for a while, was an experience I don’t intend on repeating but one worth enduring.

Seth on bread at TED

I never get tired of watching Seth Godin at TED, talking about bread.

It’s fantastic and during the financial crisis marketers and general managers should watch it over and over and over.

It’s easy to get swept up in social networking but it’s important to remember the roots of marketing and what you’re ultimately trying to achieve.

It’s a twitter mystery

Mystery, disguise and teasing.

All the hallmarks of a good thriller and so it is for over 5,000 people who are now following ‘the following‘ on twitter.

Thefollowing started on March 13th with this first post: A new experiment has begun. The Following has been born. Follow and everything will make sense soon, maybe.

And at the time of writing Thefollowing is following over 5,600 people. In return, they’ve garnered over 5,200 followers – the first 1,000 of which was acquired in less than 48 hours.

It could be a ploy to see how long people will last, or it could be a promotion for the new season of Lost, as there are several tweets about the series:

@submom Perhaps I gain some inspiration from LOST. Love that show.

@zeedee892 I’m a big LOST fan as well. New ep wed! @karmawillcatchu rent season 1, its amazing

TheFollowing’s only response has been “deets’ will come in time, I promise, have patience, but speaking of LOST, you excited for tonight? I know I am.

hmmmm red herring or have the US tv networks got onto twitter fast and very effectively?

Every morning Thefollowing put out a message saying “Good morning twitterland. Thanks for continuing to follow and participating in the experiment. Hope everyone has a great” day

Thefollowing claims to be doing something to make twitter history and in their Wednesday post Thefollowing said “Just wanted to thank the 4k of you for following in just over 4 days. Will most likely disclose details of the exp at the end of the week

The question is of course, will they? and if they do what will they reveal? It could be an incredibly smart way to get a promotion out to 5,000 plus peoples twitterfeed’s – potentially tens of thousands of eyeballs.

There isn’t any main pattern as far as I can see with the people TheFollowing is following, they’re from all around the planet and from a random sample of 100 people’s account some have very large groups following them, some are very small.

It’s odd indeed, but perhaps with all the hype around twitter and the amazing uptake in recent months across the world (more to come about that in a post later today or tomorrow) people just want to be the first to tweet about whatever it is that TheFollowing is.

Or perhaps it’s just a great new experiement by Seth Godin following on from his book about Tribes.

Anybody have any clues on this?