Tim Manners, whose Cool News is listed in the metacool blog roll, has an interesting column in Fast Company called "Marketing to Death". In it he expounds upon the theme of Godin’s Purple Cow: it’s not about marketing something that sucks, it’s about building things so remarkable that they market themselves (and make you look even better if you spend some additional marketing bucks, too). Along the way, he tells some pithy stories about things like:
- A library
- Artificial Xmas trees
- A trip to the dentist
All of these seemingly moribund market offerings can be transformed into delightful human experiences if you just spend some time and energy to listen, take notes, and invest in making them have intrinsic value. Such as the Seattle Public Library pictured above. It’s the zone where design = marketing = design.
Thanks for putting this concept out front. Great marketing without a product to back it up will only make the product fail faster, or compete based on price faster.
I like Dyson’s ads. He’s a good spokes person but then I’m a sucker for the testimonial style presentation.
So, have you tried the vacuum? Does it work well?
I’ve been to this library, and I have to say it’s incredible. And if record numbers of people signing up for library cards is any indication, lots of other locals think so too.
But in this case, function does not follow form. The library provides an incredibly fun, engaging experience! Browsers are in heaven. But don’t try to do serious research, because finding what you need in the oddly ordered spiral of books is a bit of a nightmare…
The library has received accolades from fans of architecture and is a point of pride with the city. But it forgot to account for the common use case of someone with a slip of paper featuring a call number, trying to find that frickin book!