As you probably know already, Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors.
What’s less known is that “We Are All Weird” is probably my favorite book of his.
It’s a very short read- less than an hour- but it certainly packs an enormous punch.
The thesis of the book is simple enough: the Internet has made it much easier to talk to each other (and conversely, much harder for mass markets to gain traction), therefore your business is probably better off trying to reach specific niches, rather than trying to gain mass-market acceptance.
This has a lot to do with the fact that, as affluent, educated Americans and Europeans, we’re operating on two levels. On one level, we indifferently consume commodities like everybody else. Trash bags. Toilet paper. Gasoline. Corn flakes. Toothpaste. Whatever.
But then we have these other strata where we actually try to define ourselves strongly, i.e. differentiate ourselves from other people.
i.e. There are products you care about beyond reason, and it’s with this lack of reason that you define yourself.
On one level, you just need a vehicle to get you from A to B (“Commodity”). On another level, you don’t mind shelling out an extra ten grand for that German moniker (“Weird”).
On one level, you just need a clean body (“Commodity”). On another, that Dr. Bonner makes a mean $16 peppermint liquid soap (“Weird”).
In other words, that weird, irrational part of ourselves that we define ourselves, is much more irrational and emotional, therefore harder to commodify.
And commodification, as we all know, is the marketing kiss of death.
Anyway, Team Gapingvoid agrees with Seth. Weirdness is your friend. Namaste.