Oct 8, 2011

Seth Godin's Purple Cow and Promoting Libertarianism

I just finished reading Seth Godin's remarkable book called Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. Seth Godin is a well-known entrepreneur, author and public speaker and a very respected figure in the field of marketing. In this  short and simple book, which in fact looks more like an essay stretched into a book, Godin presents one simple but remarkable idea; the old ways of marketing is dead. Overwhelming people with ads about your products or services through every conceivable medium doesn't produce results anymore. Why? 

Because there is too much competition, too much ads and products but no time/money/interest among consumers for your products or services. He says, "The sad truth is that whatever you make, most people cannot buy your product. Either they don't have the money, or they don't have the time, or they don't want it. The world has changed, there are far more choices and less and less time to sort them out."

The way out? Be Remarkable. Create something that is worth noticing and that people talk about. Ideas that spread are more likely to succeed than those that don't. Rather than targeting mass public and spending millions of dollars on advertising, target the early adapters who are constantly in search of new products and services and make your products remarkable enough to impress them. Also known as sneezers these small segments of consumers aren't only looking out for remarkable new products, services or ideas but when impressed they also tell and urge their friends and families to use the product. This method is more effective in catapulting your sales. 

I really liked the book and the idea. Although, the context of the book is purely business sector, I think the idea is equally applicable in the market place of ideas and ideologies. I have found in my conversations with many people that general people rarely have a preset set of stands regarding social or economic issues. The same person may take a liberal (classical) stand on one issue whereas he/she may take an authoritarian stand on another issue. As discussed in the book, I think it's because these people lack time and/or interest to learn more about the deeper implications of issues at hand. At the same time, too many ideologies are competing for their attention and support. I think targeting mass public with ideas is less effective than targeting the sneezers of the world of ideas. Grabbing their (sneezers) attention and impressing them with the remark-ability of classical liberal ideas could go a long way in promoting liberty. Libertarianism , I believe has the features of remark-ability and a set of Otaku supporters, which should be exploited for the mission. How to find these sneezers in the world of ideas could be a whole different topic of conversation.