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Seth Godin has written 18 bestsellers that have been translated into 35 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list


All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing




Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow





An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.




Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.



Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.



Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.




Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.



Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.



Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).




The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.



The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.




The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.




The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.





"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.




Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.



V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.




We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.



Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.



THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin

All Marketers Are Liars Blog

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Member since 08/2003

« March 2007 | Main | May 2007 »

Some people might like it

The best businesses are the ones where everyone benefits.

Robocalling is not one of these.

Robocalling is phone spam, protected by a loophole that allows politicians to evade the do not call list. Now, some states are trying to ban it, or at least make it less efficient by requiring a human operator to ask you if you want to hear the recorded vitriol before they play it for you.

Robert E. Kaiser, who runs a company that spams millions, doesn't seem to get the whole idea of permission marketing. He's quoted in the Times as saying that he should be allowed to continue this because, "You might not think there would be a segment of the public that would want the calls, but there probably is." Fortunately for those of us in need of more negative, anonymous phone harassment by computer (even though we're on the do not call list), Robert is working late to ensure that we can
be sure we'll get  our fill.

Media rule of thumb: if people wouldn't miss your ads/content/noise if it went away, you should find something else to sell to advertisers. Not because it is ethically wrong to annoy people just because you can, but because in a world with a bazillion channels, people will just ignore you if they choose to.

When URLs are cheap

...a simple idea becomes worthy of its own domain: D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y.

If you had 10 or 100 or 1000 domains each leading to a single idea, would your web presence feel the same? Would it be better?

We don't like you, go away

SubwaysignHey, I know that your last customer was a jerk. I know that you get asked the same stupid questions over and over. I know that people don't appreciate you, they're boors, they're selfish, they're in a hurry.

But, here's the thing: I'm not those people. I've never been here before. I didn't do anything wrong! Don't blame me for them.

If you're going to be in the service business, you need to accept that or you're going to hate it and be lousy at it, both at the same time.

The brand formula

What's a brand?

I think it is the product of two things:

[Prediction of what to expect] times [emotional power of that expectation].

If I encounter a brand and I don't know what it means or does, it has zero power. If I have an expectation of what an organization will do for me, but I don't care about that, no power.

Fedex is a powerful brand because you always get what you expect, and the relief you get from their consistency is high.

AT&T is a weak brand because you almost never get what you expect, because they do so many different things and because the value of what they create has little emotional resonance (it sure used to though, when they did one thing, they did it perfectly and they were the only ones who could connect you).

The dangers of brand ubiquity are then obvious. When your brand is lots of things (like AOL became) then the expectations were all over the place and the emotional resonance started to fade. If the predictability of your brand starts to erode its emotional power (a restaurant that becomes boring) then you need to become predictable in your joyous unpredictability!

If you want to grow a valuable brand, my advice is to keep awareness close to zero among the people you're not ready for yet, and build the most predictable, emotional experience you can among those that care about you.


Authorwelcome Just about every book publisher, including mine, has a beautifully lit display case of their books in the lobby. And just about every author, including me, looks at the display case when he walks in, hoping (expecting?) to see one of his books there.

So put it there.

Sure, we'll know you put it there just because you knew we were coming, but we can't help but wonder whether it's always there. And even if we know you put it there just for us, that's a nice thing, isn't it? That's a big part of what the author is paying you for.

And of course, the same thing true is for any business. If I come back to your website and you know my name, why not plaster it across the page? If I come to your fancy restaurant for dinner, why not ask me about some of my preferences on the phone and laser print a menu that highlights some of my faves. Or better yet, the waiter (with help from a computer) should remember that I loved the cucumber soup and maybe he can let me know the chef will make it again if I'd like. If I'm visiting your insurance brokerage for a meeting, how about a little welcome sign on the cube, or my favorite seltzer on ice?

Amazon has raised the bar. Invasion of privacy? Creepy? I think it has become an expectation. People like to be recognized, respected and trusted.

Just because they say it

I get more complaints about the bad customer service provided by cell phone companies than just about any other sort of organization. It's the combination of broken promises, bad attitude and the perception that the service is so important they better be good.

So why am I dubious about Voce? (thanks, Cory). The deal: they charge you a lot and they give you a lot. Human beings who care. Phones that get answered. Free loaner phones for travel... you get the idea.

Given the millions of people who are already spending more than $2000 a year for a cell phone, you'd think there'd be a line out the door for a service like this one. But my guess is it'll be a slow growth curve. Because we don't trust them.

We're waiting for the bait and switch, for the service to fade out, to be stuck, once again with a company that doesn't care. It might very well be that this time it's different.

The challenge to a marketer that chooses to enter a market with a miserable history of customer abuse is obvious: you can claim to be better, to be unevil, benevolent even, but people just aren't prepared to believe you. It doesn't fit the consumer's worldview. So, you could be the honest politician or the quality contractor or the direct marketer with no fine print and no spam, but you better be prepared to prove it over and over before we believe you.

Building a viral campaign

Brick by brick... Unitus is Empowering Women.

I heard it about from Dave and Tim, both in personalized notes. It combines video with blog-like behavior and a worthy cause. Not to mention the interesting notion that surfers and online denizens might want to honor their moms.

Yet another overnight success that takes months.

Carefully designed to make you look stupid

Apostrophe2 That's the primary function of the apostrophe--to expose apostrophe ignorance.

You get no points for using one right, and lose big points when you market any idea while using them wrong. It doesn't take long to check (especially in a headline or even worse, when designing a sign) and it's worth it. The Marriott in Boston spent a fortune in interior decoration, and then decides to invent a whole new word.

Sincerely your's, Seth.

People talking to people

Ken points us to Emma. I have no idea if their email service is any good, I've never tested it. I can tell you that their site is really good. Great, even. It's written by real people to be read by real people. The tone is just right.

It's not the only way to design a b2b site. But it's sure a good way.

[Bryan would like you to compare that site to this one.]

MPAA Uses Dogs to Find Pirated DVDs

Who knew that DVDs even had a distinctive smell? The MPAA in its never-ending quest to keep the world safe from a pirated copy of Star Wars is enlisting well-trained labradors.

It is now clear that is no longer easy to tell fact from fiction. The net gives everything equal authority, and it's often impossible to figure out what's true. MPAA Uses Dogs to Find Pirated DVDs.

If the MPAA story is fact, it's ridiculous at about 17 levels. If it's fiction, then it further reinforces the notion that news about everything is suspect.

[UPDATES: Martin says it's true. Travis says that handburnt DVDs smell different than mass produced ones.]

« March 2007 | Main | May 2007 »