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WWW SETH'S BLOG

SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list

all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

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linchpin

Linchpin

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

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IN STORES:

meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

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

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IN STORES:

permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

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IN STORES:

poke.the.box

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.

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IN STORES:

purple.cow

Purple Cow

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

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IN STORES:

small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

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

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survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

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

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IN STORES:

the.big.moo

The Big Moo

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

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IN STORES:

the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

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

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IN STORES:

the.dip

The Dip

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

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the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

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

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tribes

Tribes

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

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unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

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

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v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

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

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we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

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

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whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

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.

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THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




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Member since 08/2003

Why not?

If technology gives you the chance to speak up, build a platform and help show the way, why not use it?

If someone offers you a project or a job with more leverage and the chance to both learn and teach, why not take it?

If you can learn something new, more efficiently than ever before, if the opportunity to leap presents itself, why not?

Now is a good time.

Enthusiasm and contempt are both self-fulfilling

Someone who shows up with enthusiasm made a decision before she even encountered what was going on. The same thing is true for the guy who scowls with contempt before the customer opens his mouth.

It's a choice.

This choice is contagious.

This choice changes what will happen next.

This choice is at the heart of what it takes to be successful at making change or performing a service.

More than you imagine, we get what we expect.

Two heads or one?

As a company gets bigger, there's an inevitable split between the people who market what gets made and the people who design what gets made.

At some organizations, it's likely that these two people work in different buildings, and don't spend much time together.

One of the most important decisions made in the early days of JetBlue was that the woman in charge of marketing the airline was also in charge of hiring and training. Amy designed the product and the marketing, both.

This was certainly one of the things Steve Jobs brought to the table as well.

There are a lot of reasons that this is quite difficult to pull off. That doesn't mean it isn't important.

Try before you buy (or buy, then try)

There are two kinds of purchases: Either you are replenishing (you know precisely what you're about to get) or you are exploring.

Books and movies are almost always purchased before they are consumed. A bottle of Coke, or a return visit to a massage therapist, on the other hand, are replenishments of a known quantity. You might buy something for the satisfaction of owning it, or of owning one more, but that's different than buying one to find out what it does.

Neither is better or worse, but they are very much not the same.

If you sell an exploration, your customer is taking a chance. Sometimes magnifying that chance fits the worldview of the purchaser, and sometimes minimizing the risk is precisely what the purchaser is seeking.

On the other hand, in services like software and in recurring purchases, the sampling that leads to people getting hooked on the network effect and in replenishing what they have is what the seller seeks.

This is almost never talked about by marketers, but it's at the core of the strategy choices that follow.

Categories

Are tomatoes a fruit?

The benefit of a category isn't to denigrate something or someone. It's to help us make better decisions with limited information.

If we put someone in the category of, "frequent business traveler," we can apply previous learnings about what people like this might want or need.

Categories are useful tools when they help us find shared worldviews and interests. They're ineffective when they are nothing but surface labels, labels that don't help us serve.

Use categories well and you seem like a well-prepared mindreader, able to provide what people need, sometimes before they even realize it. It means you can treat patients, lead employees and delight customers on a regular basis.

Use them with laziness or ill intent, and you dehumanize the very people you ought to be serving.

A practical definition of reputation

Reputation is what people expect us to do next. It's their expectation of the quality and character of the next thing we produce or say or do.

We control our actions (even when it feels like we don't) and our actions over time (especially when we think no one is looking) earn our reputation.

Customer service and luxury

If your Chanel bag wears out, don't expect the same response you might find if you have trouble with something from LL Bean or Lands End. Luxury brands have long assumed that if you can afford to buy it, you can afford to replace it.

That's changing.

The mass brand leaders in most markets have figured out how to deliver extraordinary promises at scale. Not the high end guys. The mass ones. They do this by realizing that the cost of making the customer happy is tiny compared to the cost of leaving her unhappy.

[Hint: if you think that there's any chance at all that people consider what you sell a luxury good, the answer is, they probably do.]

Go to a McDonalds. Buy a Big Mac and a chocolate milkshake. Drink half the milkshake. Eat half the Big Mac. Put the rest of the Big Mac into the milkshake, walk up to the counter and say, "I can't drink this milkshake, there's a Big Mac in it." You'll get a refund. (Please don't try this, but yes, it works).

It's cheaper to just say, "here's a refund," than it is to start a debate.

How is a luxury brand going to compete? Is part of the story of why you pay extra because of the service you'll get? Lexus did groundbreaking work on this (compare the Lexus service story/truth to the way Porsche or Jaguar owners used to be treated).

Luxury buyers who see that they're getting lesser service feel stupid, and stupid is the brand killer.

If you're going to sell luxury, you probably need to figure out how to use some of the premium you charge to deliver even better service than your lower-priced competition.

The hard part about surfing

Surfing, the conceptual kind, is more essential than ever, it's not optional.

And the hardest part of surfing, by far, is paddling out, not surfing in.

Carrying the board, getting back into the water, paddling through the waves, waiting for the next set...it's exhausting, and surfers spend far more time doing this than they do on the other part.

Having the guts to surf is what change demands. And finding the stamina to paddle back out is a key part of surfing.

The selfish truth about word of mouth (why referrals don't happen)

Of course you will be eagerly and often referring your friends and neighbors to your dentist, insurance broker, lawn mowing guy and that book you just read.

Actually, not so much.

But I thought you liked it?

Well, whether or not we liked it isn't what motivates us to take the risky step of referring something (or someone). Instead, the questions that need to be answered are:

  • Do I want to be responsible if my friend has a bad experience? Will I get credit if it works, blame if it doesn't?
  • Does sending more business in this direction help me, or does it ultimately make my service provider more busy, or overwhelmed, or encourage her to raise her prices?
  • Will the provider be upset with me if the person I recommend acts like a jerk, or doesn't take his meds, or fails to pay his bills?
  • How does it make me look? Do people like me recommend something like this? When I look in the mirror after recommending this, do I stand taller?
  • Is this difficult to explain, complex to understand, filled with pitfalls?
  • Does it look like I'm getting some sort of kickback or special treatment in exchange? Is that a good thing?

Being really good is merely the first step. In order to earn word of mouth, you need to make it safe, fun and worthwhile to overcome the social hurdles to spread the word.

When specialization starts to pay off (and the danger of getting it wrong)

Last week, I got to beta-test a new service called tuber. Tuber is the Uber of food delivery services, with a focus (okay, an obsession) on certain kinds of root vegetables.

Just as some people keep Sidecar, Lyft and Uber on their phones, so they can compare who's got the best price or service in any given moment, Tuber is working to stake out a particular niche. They'll deliver a potato, yam or cassava, usually within twenty minutes of being requested.

In my case, I got three organic Japanese sweet potatoes, delivered to my house in time to roast for dinner. They were perfect specimens, and the price was right. (In case you're interested, the recipe: 450 degree oven for an hour. Done.)

Think about how they can magnify their advantages. Unlike more general food delivery sites, they can dig deep into the entire range of tubers. They can outfit their vehicles and focus their staffing with an eye on delivering exactly what this particular consumer seeks out. If we are indeed all weird, then tuber can get to the root of what we're after.

The interesting battle happens when these specialists start to overlap. Carrots, for example, are a taproot, not technically a tuber, and yet the company appears willing to expand into this area, risking their focus. Spread too thin, there will be pressure on management to expand into green vegetables and even fruits.

On the other hand, they are now saying that legumes (like peanuts) will be handled by their sister company, guber.