Tips For Success: Be Fashionable, Work At The 'Edges'

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If you want to benefit from your ideas you'd better "be remarkable," advised Seth Godin.

The author of "The Purple Cow," Godin told a group of credit unions gathered here that credit unions are really in the "fashion business."

Godin told credit unions they had better start selling "something worth talking about."

Ironically, Godin gave his audience something to talk about: many in the crowd kept grumbling about his constant use of "customers" until he finally offered an apology and continued on with his PowerPoint presentation.

See, ordinary cows are boring, but purple cows get noticed. And squeaky wheels get greased, etc., but people just never seem to learn, Godin suggested. The old model of getting on TV, radio and print with your message doesn't work any longer because "nobody cares what you think! They only care about what they think." Coming out with a new product in an era of too many choices just makes for more noise. Trying for attention, the noise morphs into a collective drone that everyone ignores. "You send out too much mail!"

"Because everything in our culture is already good enough, people take what's close and cheap," he said. "You need to say why," stressed Godin. Because the cow is purple, it is remarkable, so people talk about it and word spreads. "It's the edges that get people to switch." He recommended using permission marketing to get across the "why" and letting the viral marketing bug take hold: "People like doing what other people are doing."

CUs should work the grapevine, Godin said, offering one caveat. "If you defraud people they will never trust you again, but it's not credit unions that have defrauded consumers, it's the very large merger banks with their small print that have defrauded consumers," he said, throwing a rose to his audience.

Godin's cash cow methodology for success is to "find products for your customers instead of finding customers for your products."

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