You know in the you know, we stand for this. People like us do stuff like this. So let’s talk about the anything, a logo and a brand alright, because companies spend way too much time on their logo, just like people on YouTube spend way too much time on their hair. I’M told they spend way too much time in there. If Nike owned opened a hotel, I think we would be able to guess pretty accurately what it would be like if Hyatt came out with sneakers we’d have no clue because Hyatt doesn’t have a brand.
They have a logo. If I swap the signs on a hotel at that price point, it couldn’t tell if you were to marry it. If you were a Hilton or the Hyatt, the hallway, the room – I don’t know where am I no brand, so what it means to have a brand is you’ve made a promise to people. They have expectations, it’s a shorthand. What should I expect the next time, and if that is distinct, you’ve earned something if it’s not distinct.
Let’S admit you make a commodity and you’re trying to charge just a little bit extra for peace of mind, the problem that Hyatt and Hilton and Mary it and the rest have his sort by price, because if I go online now to find a hotel, it’s really Simple sort by price: why would I pay $ 200 extra to go a block away? I don’t so. What’S the value of a brand, the value of a brand is how much extra am I paying above the substitute and if I’m not paying extra, you don’t have a brand.
This episode is brought to you by our friends at Mazda. I just drove the new mazda6 and it’s buttery smooth powerful with an optional turbocharged engine and more. I also elect the new cx-9. We shoot on location every week and it’s got plenty room for all of our gear. It definitely feels a premium kind of driving experience, but it’s the attention to detail that stands out for me. You can really tell the monsters designers have put their heart and souls into these vehicles.
You can check them out at Mazda comm, all right now, let’s get into our episode it’s that time again. It feels like. Every year we had a little you’re like Santa Claus, but with wisdom and insight once a year you show up from like Jimmy and we have a conversation. I was looking forward to this. I’M not going to ask you how you got this job this time, because after half a dozen times, I think I know the story, but I do want to know about this book I want to know.
I mean I’ve always thought of you as the godfather of marketing. You know if, if Peter Drucker is, you know, old-school not outdated, but just like you know he came before he’s the previous generation. I always think of Seth as the new generation kiss the ring and so help me understand. This seems to me to be like the quintessential book on marketing. Well, what’s your take, the thing is, I don’t do any consulting, because I don’t have the patience for it and what I love to do is find people I care about who are doing work that I’m proud of it gives them free advice.
How can they achieve their goals, bringing their work to people who need it and what happened was after the 50th time? I heard myself saying the same things again and again. I started this seminar, the marketing seminar, which lives online and it’s not inexpensive, but it’s really effective. It’S a hundred, a seminar with so far. Six thousand six hundred people have taken it and what happens inside it is.
I was reading. People interact with my lessons, but fifty lessons together and seeing how they interpreted them and reading them change and reading their work get better. So it occurred to me. I don’t know why I took so long. Oh, I know how to make books. Maybe I’ll turn this into a book for people who don’t necessarily want to commit the time to being part of a seminar and one thing led to another, and the book became the book that it is now which is yes, my version of if advertising had never Existed if David Ogilvy had never existed, if the old model, which was so magical, wasn’t available because I don’t think it is, if I could teach marketing to someone, what would I teach them so there’s nothing it.
I think the word Twitter might appear once in the whole book is not about social media. It is not about growth rating points or even conversion. It’S about work that matters for people who care so break it down for me kind of. What’S what’s the path you know, what is the method to the madness of laying out the chapters in the order that you did or does the order or not matter so the order we you have to begin by undoing the marketing of marketing.
You have to undo this idea that marketing is selfish. That marketing is a scam that marketing is this short-term interruption thing. So I spend a bunch of time on that. I wish I didn’t have to, but I do because I’m saying to you you’re a marketer and it’s not an insult, it’s a compliment, because what marketers do is we make change happen? Okay, which change for who? So the first third of the book is what marketers do is we decide who we are seeking to change who’s it for and what’s it for, and I’m amazed at how often people don’t even consider this? They think they’re making average stuff for average people and if they just yell at about it enough, then their Kickstarter will hit 19 million dollars well yeah every once in a while.
I Kickstarter needs to do that, but almost none of them do that the truly successful ones or the truly successful online stores are local bakeries or the person is trying to raise money for their charity are specific, they’re, not general, so the first part, and then I Get to this idea that culture defeats everything if you’ve got culture at your back. What you’re doing is easy and you’re trying to change the culture it’s difficult.
So what is culture? Culture? Is people like us? Do things like this? How do we break that into pieces? Who are the people like us? What are the things like this, then? I do a turn into something that some people think is distracting, but is, in fact, at the core of some of the big ideas here, which are human beings, make decisions based on status, not the status of I have a fancier car than you. That’S part of it, but the status of who eats lunch first and the status of who’s moving up and who is not moving up.
And what does that even mean to us that informs culture? And then I talk about affiliation versus dominance, because I see that more and more everywhere. I look ok so now that we’ve laid that out now we can get into some of the tactics, the tactics of. Are you a brand marketer or a direct marketer, because they’re fundamentally different things and most people were brand marketers before the internet, but the internet rings a bell and says if you’re a direct marketer? This is here for you and then I can.
We round hole circle, and I end with a bit of a rant about is the work we do evil. Are we responsible for it and if we are responsible for it? What are we doing here with this super powerful tool and this tool we each have is more powerful than the assembly line was in 1925, partly because we all have it. If you have a keyboard, you can touch the culture. What will you do with that keyboard? What we do with that camera because we’re not victims, we’re creators and I care very much about helping people, take responsibility for the change they seek to make and if it makes you a living, that’s fine.
It doesn’t make you a living, that’s a choice, but don’t do it because you’re making a living making a living because you’re doing it yeah well said, can we go back just a second and maybe delineate or clarify brand marketing versus direct marketing? I think I know what you’re saying to me. If I were to say it I would say brand marketing or advertising because to me one is a push button and the other one is a pull lever.
You know brand marketing being a pull or it’s pulling people in drawing them in with a tint. You know trying to build attention and Trust while advertising is more about getting a return on the investment and getting someone to jump through a hoop, but maybe in your own words yeah. I I’ve that’s legit, but I’d do it differently, yeah, because there are direct marketing ads and their brand ads. It’S not the advertising that differentiates them.
It’S one simple thing: you can’t measure a brand. You can measure direct. You must measure direct right. Lester Wunderman, who was a friend of mine, is a friend of mine. The elder statesman invented the term direct marketing was on the board of Yoyodyne. Direct Marketing is measured marketing. If you can measure it you’re going to act differently, because you can see what happened Tuesday and change what you do on Wednesday brand marketing is a Cheetos commercial brand marketing is the Airbnb logo.
They don’t you can’t test their Airbnb logo every day. It’S the logo. That’S part of the way you tell the story of who you are so a lot of individuals who don’t own the company like brand marketing cos, can’t get in trouble for a long time, because no one knows if it’s working and it’s this magic alchemy, the Absolut Vodka ads in the back of the New Yorker for all those years. They didn’t work, they didn’t work, they didn’t work, they didn’t work and then one day, you’re a genius right so know very few people make an Apple Superbowl commercial.
That changes everything generally. What happens is people show up put their brand in the world with or without an ad right Brad marketing is. Where did you put your store? Is it on the corner or in the middle of the block? You can’t measure that, because you can’t open two stores, one on the corner and one in the middle Direct Marketing, though, is the secret of Google and Facebook. Google gets all of its revenue, 100 % from people who are buying clicks, that they measure and the reason they make so much money.
Is they sell the clicks for a nickle and if work, they tell your competitors that they could buy it for six cents, and so an auction takes place. So you are making a little bit of money and Google’s making a lot, but you’re still ok with it, because it’s better than making zero. So as we switch to this world of Direct Marketing, we have to realize the metrics of brand marketing aren’t appropriate and vice versa.
What does that mean? It means if you’re, an individual and you’re counting your facebook likes or your YouTube views, you’re, making a big mistake because you’re doing direct marketing in that sense, you’re measuring it, but you’re measuring the wrong thing and that’s going to undermine your brand, because we all know That the best way to get a lot of clicks is to act like a porn site and left to its own devices.
If it does nothing but optimize sooner or later, direct marketing on the internet, races to the bottom, because you’re just trying to get a few clicks from a few people dumb enough to pay you something and my argument is: we need to race to the top. So we need to use Direct Marketing when we should and brand marketing the rest of the time yeah. I think it’s a really good point. You know when back-to-school timing hits and I hear those ads start – pinging hey.
You know you can get jeans that are usually 40 bucks for five bucks just for this week of time, I’m being hit with direct marketing and that’s ringing my bell: the trouble with direct marketing or advertising like that is you know it’s can be expensive and sometimes It misses the mark and we’re being trained to ignore it. Oh yeah yeah, I mean Lillian Vernon l.L.Bean. The reason you’ve heard of them Lands End because every time they spent 50 cents on stamps, they made a dollar 50 in profit.
So they get it to infinity and that’s the direct marketers dream get it right turn the dial, but when we think about the marketing that makes our culture better, it might have a little direct marketing piece to it, but mostly it’s a brand marketing exercise. It also kind of reminds me of The Tortoise and the hare right. Yeah brand marketing is the tortoises race. The hares is direct marketing or advertising.
That’S right, you know it can be quick and you know you could spend five million dollars on a Superbowl ad and read everyone in one day you know, but how long do we remember that or how’s that resonating? What’S the risk exactly? Can you weigh in on what seems to be the quintessential brand marketing play today as we talk about it, the Nike play and Colin Kaepernick okay? So there are a few things that need to be understood about Nike biggest one.
You are not a key. I am NOT Nike. Nike is a bit of a special case number two, the vast majority of Nikes future and its present is overseas sales, so they’re showing up and they’re saying we’re, not Puma we’re not a ddos. We are Nike. Well, you don’t. You can’t say that by pointing to your sneakers, because in a blind taste test, the sneakers are all the same right unless you’re an elite elite athlete it’s about something else.
Well, Colin Kaepernick is a signal, he’s a symbol. He stands for something and the other sneaker companies have been afraid to stand for what Colin Kaepernick stands for, so is it risky feeling to go into a divisive area of politics that I don’t think should be divisive but has become divisive? Of course it feels risky, but it was brilliant. It was brilliant because at the level Nike is playing now the number of ways that they can stand for something anything is very small, and here with just two words, they were able to say us him.
We stand for something when you talk about Nike, you are standing you’re talking about standing for something right, and the stock market has reflected that their market share has reflected that. It’S not easy for a brand to do something that singular. What’S interesting is if Seagram’s had done it, where mattress firm had done it or some other advertise, it wouldn’t worked because they didn’t have the DNA to match it.
It would have been stopped. This wasn’t a stunt that people who knew Nike said, of course it was very natural for them to do that. Yeah, you’re, right, they’ve they’ve been seeding the market from the beginning. You know from youth sports, although an eye and and they’ve also been you know the disrupter. If you want to use that buzzy word in their industry, trying to do stuff differently and shake-up yeah when you and I were kids sneakers cost eight dollars right.
So, as a citizen, I am thrilled that they’ve, given this brave individual, a platform to speak his mind as a marketer, a brand marketer. I look at that and say if this is what the people at Nike truly believe is. This is where they are going and it’s a non cynical act on their part. I have to applaud it because the kind of person that is decrying this psychographically isn’t their core audience. It’S not what they look like how old they are their income.
It’S what they believe and they tend to not be an early adopter of fashion, that person well Nike is selling to the early adopter of fashion by the time their shoes are at Payless they’re, not making any money at that end of the curve they make money. At the front of the curve and the front of the curve, the early adopters, there are people who are playing with new ideas in the culture they’re, not people who are trying to preserve old ideas in the culture.
Let’S talk about what could could go wrong or could have gone wrong, and maybe if we try this on another brand, you know what can other brands learn from this particular case study. You know in the you know, we stand for this. People like us, do stuff like this, so let’s talk about the anything, a logo and a brand alright, because companies spend way too much time on their logo. Just like people on YouTube spend way too much time on their hair.
I’M told they spend way too much time in there. If Nike owned opened a hotel, I think we would be able to guess pretty accurately what it would be like if Hyatt came out with sneakers we’d have no clue because Hyatt doesn’t have a brand. They have a logo if I swap the signs on a hotel at that price point, it couldn’t tell if you were to marry it to Hilton or the Hyatt, the hallway, the room. I don’t know where am I no brand, so what it means to have a brand is you’ve made a promise to people.
They have expectations, it’s a shorthand. What should I expect the next time, and if that is distinct, you’ve earned something if it’s not distinct. Let’S admit you make a commodity and you’re trying to charge just a little bit extra for peace of mind, the problem that Hyatt and Hilton and Mary it and the rest have his sort by price, because if I go online now to find a hotel, it’s really Simple sort by price: why would I pay two hundred dollars extra to go a block away? I don’t so.
What’S the value of a brand, the value of a brand is how much extra am I paying above the substitute and if I’m not paying extra, you don’t have a brand. So when we think about what brands ought to do to move forward, the most important thing is to not worry about your slogan. Your spokesperson, they’re wrapping. It’S to worry about the substance, work that matters for people who care find the people who care the smallest, viable group.
You can live with and figure out how to give them work that matters. So if we compare, if we’re stung the hotel thing, there are hotels. These new chains of mini boutique hotels that charge double what a Hayat might charge for less, but it’s only less by the Hyatt measure. It’S way more by the measure of someone who cares about with the people in the lobby look like who cares about how hip it feels to walk into the bar they’re investing not in oh, you get a room with three power outlets: they’re investing in throwing a Party in a place where you also can sleep while you’re on the road, those hotels have a brand and those hotels are some that some people pay extra for, but almost no one in the scheme of things yeah.
Can we talk a little bit about demographic versus psychographic yeah? I love that yeah. Okay, so they’re only used to be demographics. The only thing a marketer could pay attention. What kind of car do you drive? How old are you what’s your income, you could buy all of those things for mailing this company, but once the internet showed up particularly Google, but mostly Facebook, we could say this is for people who, like that this is for people who dream of that.
This is for people who believe this. Those are psychographics, it doesn’t matter what your skin color is. It doesn’t matter what your income is? It’S, what’s your narrative inside so going forward, the old-school marketer still talks about demographics, they’re wasting their time. What we need to understand is in every zip code. There are people of almost every psychographic perception and what we have to do is brand marketers to say it’s for you and it’s not for you.
I didn’t separate you because of who your parents were. I separated you because of what you believe and what you dream of. If you want to switch, what you dream and what you believe of it might be for you, so I guy walk by the Supreme store. I see these people are idiots good because it’s not for me it’s for them perfect. I like that. I like that, a lot, so you know search engines and social media websites are collecting data on us, whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not, but if so, if I’m a marketer and I’ve got and I’m trying to build a brand, then How do i, how do I find out who my audience is because I think sometimes we think it’s one audience exactly.
We might be completely missing the mark exactly okay. So, let’s start with the data collection thing every time I go to Amazon, they rearrange the whole store for me and every time I go to a regular bookstore, I am frustrated because they don’t it but like what is what are the cat books? I don’t like cats every time you know, I’m coming just take all the cat books out of the store. They don’t do that for me, Amazon does so when this is done properly.
People are happy, it’s being done because it’s being done for them not to them. When it’s done improperly it’s when you get a phone call from your credit card company – and they say we noticed – you’ve been going to a lot of singles bars and strip clubs. Here’S a coupon for free, venereal disease testing. You don’t want that phone call, because you didn’t ask for that engagement with them right, so it’s not about privacy, it’s about being surprised! Okay.
So now we go to serve some people I’ll begin by saying: I don’t think you have any business being a marketer unless you have empathy for the people you are seeking to serve. So what do I mean by empathy? I mean you, don’t know what I know you don’t want what I want. You don’t believe what I believe here I made this. It might be for you now. The best way to begin as an amateur marketer is to start with people who believe what you believe and want what you want great do you know who those people are? Can you imagine them start there? You will find some people in that segment because you made it for you right.
So if you love to surf and to be on social media than inventing the hero, camera, probably a good idea, because you knew what it’s like to be one of those people. But Sony should have invented to hear our camera and they didn’t. Because there wasn’t a professional market around the scene, who said I don’t surf? I don’t want to be on social media, but I could imagine what that would be like, and so we begin with that.
We begin by asserting what a group who believes a thing might want to do. How do you do that? Well, you can learn a lot by noticing. You can learn a lot by thing. Why is there a line at the supreme store? Why are people buying pokeballs right? Why are people doing this? Why are people doing that and those people who do that they’re also doing this, which has nothing to do with that, but they’re all doing it is because they’re all doing it or because there’s something those things have in common a feeling, and so what our job Is as marketers is to suss out that feeling make an assertion and then present it to those people not spend a lot of time in focus groups, because people don’t know what they want.
They just know what they dream. So is your recommendation. Then you know, let’s say I am the GM right and and I’m looking just to create this product. Would you recommend, then, seeking out someone who has expertise in that area and bringing them on the team is like a consultant or full-time hire, or should we all just eat, drink and breathe that subculture? You know for the next year and figure it out.
Like you know, when I was building Yoyodyne, we were hiring a lot of people, so we took out a full-page ad in The New York Times, which was super fun to do and 500 people showed up and we interviewed them in groups. It was really cool and we sat around the table. The groups of eight and the question I asked the group of eight is working together. There was no Google that no smart phones working together figure out how many gas stations there are in the United States and what would happen around that table every time two people would say I’ll, take notes.
Two people would say whatever anyone else suggested. No, that’s wrong. We don’t know the answer, two people would say not much of anything and then two people would lead this conversation. It’S really fascinating and you can guess who I hired, but every once in a while someone would say I don’t know, I don’t have a car and that was really frustrating to me. It wasn’t a question of how many guest agents have you seen in your life.
It was figure out how to be wrong on the way to being right how to make this series of assertions about where to go. So, when you think about the people who built, I don’t know, dropbox dropbox was built to solve a personal need, that’s great. As far as it goes, but if you want to be a professional marketer, you got to do it again for somebody else’s need and the way you do, that is by gaining the empathy to imagine what it is to be in their shoes.
Don’T have to be a woman to make pantyhose, you just have to be empathic, let’s shift gears and talk a little bit about mission driven companies. I mean it’s been a slow burn, so TOMS shoes and Warby Parker, and you know these are some of the standout kind of cliche case studies. We talk about all the time, but mission driven or Purpose Driven or maybe what you’re saying work that matters, maybe they’re.
One in the same, how do we, how do we get there and if we’re not thinking about this, should we and if we should, then how should we reframe or re configure what we’ve already got going? Well, I think the words matter, so I mean I’ve known you for about almost ten years now you are running a mission-driven organization. I know what your mission is and you have kept your mission through thick and thin.
That doesn’t mean you are giving shoes to kids in Rwanda. It means you seek to make change. You are changing group of people who do work with leverage you can visualize who those people are and the people who aren’t those people you’re not trying to change them. You have a mission, the medium could change. You could stop using article and switch to podcasting, but your mission would be consistent, and so I begin there, which is too often we get hung up by reverse engineering, our mission, we say I’m making money doing X.
So I will come up with a phrase that will, let me keep doing X. That’S not what you or I are talking about when I think about someone like Blake at TOMS, shoes Blake wanted to have a business that made money but also cared very much about the footprint that he was leaving behind. No pun intended with Tom’s. And so then. Yes, they can make coffee and they can make sunglasses and they can make the other things that they’ve tried to make, because it’s not about shoes.
It’S. How do I get an early adopter of fashionista? Who wants a story? She can tell her friends to be able to buy a product, that’s going to have a better positive impact on the world than the one she’s currently buying. That’S the mission back to psychographic exactly and you know so, Warby Parker. They don’t make a big deal of the fact that every time you pair by a pair of glasses, they give one away.
That’S not why they want you to buy a pair of glasses. What they’ve said is for the kind of person who has better taste than they have a bank account right, more desire to impress. Then they have cash. How do we use the Delta between what luxottica would charge for these glasses and what we would charge for these glasses to create convenience and a vibe of fitting in alright? Because it’s interesting, if you couple things I could say about war, be before war? Be open? Retail stores they didn’t know a what a retail store would look like.
That, would work for them and be where to put it. So what they did was they bought a school bus and they outfitted the school bus like a store and then they would go on social media and say the store will be here and they would park the bus in different places and any place. The bus did well, that’s where they knew a store would do well like a food truck right, but it was brewing because it wasn’t a food truck just to be a food truck.
It was intended to be a test of the store, direct marketing thinking there. A direct marketing company, but the other thing that’s interesting – is the cost to Warby to have 10 times as many glasses as they have would be zero to have every you know. They don’t sell these, I’m glad, because I’m the only one who has them, but they could sell these. Why don’t they? Because we’ll be saying, people like us, wear glasses like these, you don’t have that many choices, and so you can’t screw up.
There’S only 20 or 30 looks to look to choose from that’s exactly how many the slightly insecure fashion-forward glasses shopper wants to look at, and wore B’s bet is that they can sell that person a new pair of glasses every three to six months, whereas if it Was looks odd, okay, you can’t afford right. So again the psychographic is what’s baked in Warby. Isn’T busy running ads of people who live in foreign lands? Who don’t have glasses? That’S not their story.
That’S not the story that resonates with the people they seek to serve. Yeah and if I can add to that, I think that they use a user experience company exactly so it’s one of the smoothest user experiences. I’Ve ever had on the West, super-convenient down, respect yeah and it’s quick and and they have a Zappos Amazon. Like you know, customer service return policy, there’s lots of things going for them.
That’S awesome! How about the the white space I like to talk about the white space. You know things that we’re missing in marketing what our marketers missing. I mean if you’re a career, marketer you’ve done it all, and you know I’ve been on the client side. I you know, I worked for a big company, we had a big P & L and I did everything, radio and TV and billboards, and I took over the internet and spent gobs of money, but like what? What don’t? I know about right now that I’m missing well, I think the two biggest things are connected number one.
Your factor isn’t worth much anymore. It used to be worth everything, so you had to defend the factory you got to say this is what we know how to make. So this is what we sell, but now everything’s a click away, so you can sell anything you want. So don’t come at this as the customers wrong. I have this briefcase full of stuff. This is what I have to sell it’s. How can I solve this person’s problem? How can I market with them instead of at them, and the second thing is attention used to be cheap? I think about it.
The phrase CPM damn doesn’t stand for a million. It stands for a thousand, I’m not sure why cause per thousand we’re buying people’s lives. A thousand at a time for pocket change and since it’s so cheap, what the hell put a talking bear up. Do this interrupt this crazy Eddy, whatever it’s cheap, we’ll just try something else tomorrow, and now it’s not like all of a sudden. Now it’s not now. It’S really expensive, a thousand two fans, ten thousand true fans, it’s enough to build a whole company, a hundred thousand true fans, you’re, all it’s a homerun, 100 thousand, that’s it so the mindset of oh, I don’t have to just show up arrogantly saying I insist I Can show up and listen and assert and everyone is not.
The goal cannot be the goal someone. So how is then that helped you with your marketing blogs? You know you’ve got these products or services, whether it’s the LT MBA or the the marketing seminars that what we’re calling it? Yes, marque semenovka or your podcasts akimbo, or your ongoing blog or new books. So I got super lucky because I decided I didn’t want more. I’M looking over your shoulder and Tom Peters book is on you right over your shoulder and I talked to Tom.
He was my hero. I actually met him in 1983 when I was 23 years old and I was on stage he was coming on after we were doing our tech check. I was holding my three-year-old because he had come down with me for the weekend and at the time tom was doing between 90 and 105 speeches a year. I have a picture of him sleeping on a park bench in Siberia to the Siberian Airport. I said Tom, what? How did you like what and he said I used to be able to do a great Tom Peters invitation.
I can’t do it anymore. He said I had no choice. I have no choice. This is what I do so it’s like a shark. It’S like what he does and I looked at that and I said I don’t want more. I don’t want what Tom’s got. I don’t want the biggest blog. I don’t wan na have the number one best-selling book I am NOT interested in whatever I would have to do to get more. I am happy with enough to do it for the people who want me to do it with them, because I made that decision.
I was able to stumble on this idea of the smallest viable audience, so the all 10 be a which is one of the most successful program of its kind has had three thousand graduates. That’S all three thousand. So yes, it’s many times bigger than Stanford Business School. But no it’s not three hundred thousand fine! The marking seminar, my blog is read by. I guess: like a million people, six thousand I’ve taken the marketing seminar.
Could I have goosed it to sixty thousand? Of course I could, but that I wouldn’t be me, and so my posture has been don’t level up on staff. Don’T level up on spend put all of it into better, not more because if you can make better and afford to make better, because you have true fans, maybe they’ll tell their friends, and maybe you can do this work and doing this work is my privilege and So I’m totally fine.
If it’s not for you great, please don’t come. I have there’s no squeeze play, there’s no lowering the price for 12 hours metabolic. Why? I don’t need to do that, don’t want well and that’s how you’ve built your brand. So I guess the follow-up question to that is: how can we use what should be our guiding principles? You know: is it our personal value system as a quality of life? What can be the compass to know how to build our brand because you’ve, you said you got lucky, I mean I don’t know about that.
I mean it seems like it was pretty calculated and very strategic, but you went and I’ve gone down this path and I’m sure there’s been some twists and turns whatnot, but how can then the rest of us create the compass? What is our compass? Well, I think you got to tell yourself the truth and it’s so like author, so many authors have been to see me. I love authors. So what’s your goal, I want to make change happen.
So do you care about being in the New York Times bestseller list? Well, yeah I need to because then they’ll help me make change ever really really, because I could tell you how to be on the New York Times bestseller list, but you have to trade this this and this for it, and many of them do because they’re not Actually, keeping track of what got them started: they’re using other people’s metrics to do their work and that’s as bad as having a boss, it’s worse because now you’re in this cycle.
So we know how to double your the number of Twitter users. We know how to make sure that there’s more of this or more that and you justify, but you know I have to make my editor happy and I have to do this and it no you don’t what you need to do is get clear about who’s it. For and what’s it for and if you are clear, like Howard Schultz was clear, he said: I need America to drink, better coffee. Well, that’s your mission! Then! Yes, you need 19,000 Starbucks.
Yes, you need to serve things throughout the day in the night. Yes, you have to be ok with, you know, still quest off, because you can’t figure out how you get the supply chain right. That’S all comes with. I want all of America to drink, better coffee, but, on the other hand, there’s a guy who’s got. You know. Four coffee shops in New York City. He says I want to make better coffee period for people who want it.
He works with people. He cares about. His cashflow is positive. He does the craft he wants to do, and it’s not someone else’s agenda because he’s not a public company and doesn’t want to be so both are available but be consistent and the mistake that happens is someone has four little coffee shops. They say that that’s what they want to do, but then they keep compromising so they can have 18 coffee shops that are now pretty sucky.
I don’t know why you did that well, zooming out, then I mean it sounds like, and I love this idea of business. Being so personal, it sounds like to be the quintessential brand marketer. It really has to start right here has to start with us. We have to be clear about what we really want. So Phil Knight is saying you know we want to be the company, the brand that stands up for people that is on the right set of history.
That does the right thing, so I’m sure he knows profits and I’m sure he did some math. I’M sure it’s not all altruistic, but those are the types of like value based decisions, we’re making right the quality of life. How much time we want to spend at home versus traveling a hundred days out of the year yeah. Well, whatever job you do, whether you’re a brand marketer or an accountant. I hope at some point you said what’s in here.
I don’t think we need to be altruistic, but I think we need to be some true, istic meaning. We are true to some people for some people. They can’t believe how great this thing we made is for some people they would cross the street to get it, and if I go down the list of modern brands, that is true all of them. So Procter & Gamble Unilever brands, not so much because they own shelf space and they own acres of TV, the TV’s getting too expensive.
They could probably hold on in the shelf space for a while to come. But that’s not most of us. Most of us are not seeing they’re saying crystal like crystal like Crystal Light, because the fact is there aren’t that many people who are bound up in the story of Crystal Light. But if you wanted to build an important new brand, if you want to grow the brand you’ve got, you can’t use the old technique because we know it doesn’t work anymore.
And so what can you do to make a bigger impact? Which is you can be some twisted? You can be obsessed with some people and make them so happy to hear from you that they open your email, that they call you on the phone that they wait. In line to see you at the booth that they tell their friends and tell their friends and tell their friends that begins with someone caring enough to have the grit to say we’re going to make good stuff, not lousy stuff.
So how is it being back and sort of traditional publishing? You know back to sort of blocking and tackling making books like you’ve done in the past yeah. So of course I’m a hypocrite. I have repeatedly said it’s. My last book. I’Ve repeatedly said the publishing industry is so crippled by the shift that I have to respect the people in it but politely decline. But here I am back with my friends at penguin portfolio.
The first reason is because, as the seminar developed, I realized, I needed a book and I know how to publish my own books. But when I thought about the mechanics of that, I realized I needed a team of people who would do it. Justice – and these were the best people, but I couldn’t help myself so the other thing that we did, which we haven’t announced at all, which is we’re going to talk about after the book comes out, is I actually made 19 extra covers for the book.
Okay and here’s, a couple of them can’t show them to you in too much detail because it’s sort of a secret, but what we’re going to do like my creative director and I did them all ourselves. All 18 of these covers so there’s like an alternate cover like in a magazine like you write Sports Illustrated, does exactly several different athletes right same magazine, different cover, so what’s going to happen is if you buy an 8 pack of the book from 800, CEO Reed, Who I’m working with they’re going to put in the 8 pack? Eight of these covers? You don’t know which 8 you’re going to get collect and trade them kind of thing, plus like 800 or $ 1000 worth of free slots or discounted slot discounted slots.
In the articles from the seminar, so you get all this juicy stuff for the cost of the 8 books, and I got to tell you after the book was done: yeah because you could there’s lead times and publishing. So now you, like you, have all this energy, but the books done so it was months of work to make the envelope and the custom covers, and the flip side of the posters and I loved that I was just such joy because I’m only making 2,000 of Them – and I knew that only 2,000 people are going to touch this, but that made it even better because it was like okay, we get to roll up our sleeves and be craftsmen to celebrate this other thing.
We’Re doing so. We didn’t announce it in advance because we don’t want people to just wait for it, but it’s going to come out right after the book launches. That’S so cool you are the master of creating scarcity. You! You love this idea right yeah. I love it because it creates value yeah, it does. You know limited time or there’s I’m only making 10 of these or yeah it does right. So part of it is tension, which is what we know is before anyone says.
Yes, they get like this in any field you have to as a marketer willingly dance with that tension, because you’re creating it right and then on top of it scarcity creates value, but what it does for me is the Creator. Is it lets me off the hook from infinity and infinity has never been my friend, because if you are making YouTube articles and you get a million visits, you say well, why didn’t I get two million? Why didn’t I get four million and what I get satisfaction out of the same sorry so that cuz now I know I couldn’t have gotten any more cuz.
I don’t have anymore. It makes me emotionally more connected to the work than having to say this is for everyone and I need six billion. Somehow. That makes a lot of sense. Can I get a little bit personal too and just ask you, you know. I know you always say when I ask you so what’s next, you know next is what I’m working on right now. This is what I’m most interested in. You know. I’Ve been there and I’ve done that.
That’S fine but like at some point share a little bit of the Seth dream with us. Like are you I mean we’re out here, sort of you know, upstate, you know up up the traffic halfway to sing-sing. Prison yeah is the goal to like retire in Italy. At some point or like you’re going to have this, you know Seth part two and you’re going to be some gourmet chef or create a chocolate factory like what are some of the.
What are some of the dreams and aspirations that you’ve got. You know I won the dream and aspiration Lottery a long time ago. So, if I wanted to live in Italy, I could live in Italy and the internet makes it even easier. I almost started top elite company. I was four days away from it. When I tasted rogue chocolate, I met Sean asked a nosy. I said I can’t make chocolate better than rogue and I can’t be a better person than Sean.
So all it would be as a marketing project and I’m already doing marketing project. Let these guys sell chocolate every once in a while. I play with the idea of starting a significant entity, a software company, or something like that, because I see the niches in the market, but more and more I’ll just call somebody up some CEO of the public companies. They used to go through this, so I don’t have to have that conversation today.
I hope that works, but the essence of it is this: for someone who’s lucky enough to be able to do almost anything he wants. This is what I want to do. I want to be a teacher. I want to be somebody who helps turn on lights and helps people, not everybody. Some people see things that they can’t unsee and it’s always in the service. How do I make this place? I’D rather live with my kids than it was yesterday, because if we could all figure out how to do that, that positive cycle, I think that’s what makes culture matter so yeah tomorrow morning.
I will wake up and I’ve done what I’m supposed to do. For my publisher, I’m off the hook and I haven’t written anything new and I’m not building a new course right now. I’Ve got the courses we run because they work and I want to run them again and I’ve got the team of people in 40 countries who worked with me on various projects and I trust them, and I love them, and I want to do it again, but It would be very hard for me to stop doing this right now.
I gave up the airplanes has been hard, but I’ve mostly done it now, I’m down to one a month, but other than that everything else about what I do is a privilege. Our true privilege, you
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