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I read a post by Seth Godin today that caught my attention. It wasn’t on WordPress (shame!), but since the blogger is also a rather famous author, I figure he’s entitled to pick a service different from mine. 🙂

What caught my eye was a blog entry titled Creating sustainable competitive advantage, which discusses why companies like Nike or Starbucks continue to succeed even when others are offering copycat products and services for less cost.  This is of interest to me because I know so many people say they are looking for low prices, but many don’t purchase the least expensive version of what they are buying. To help explain this success, he includes a quick list of success factors, my favorite of which is “You can build a brand (shorthand for relationships, beliefs, trust, permission and word of mouth)”. (For the whole list, check the link to his blog post…later)

I hear the term “brand” a lot. I put a lot in bold only because I couldn’t find the read-this-word-now-super-duper-bold feature. Everyone seems to use the term brand. Before I digress further on its overuse, my point is that I like his use of it, because he provides a brief and usable definition that tells me “oh, that is brand“.

Take Nike for instance. You may not completely agree with my assessment, but here how I think they fit his description:

Relationships – think pro sports and athletes
Belief – quality products, widely available
Trust – their product perform and last
Permission – many people are familiar with their products and look forward to learning about new ones
Word of Mouth – just do it…does anyone not know this phrase?

Think about any product you depend on or support; how does their company fit into those categories? How does yours?

For a later post, I plan to examine how I (the Talk to the Human™ guy)will fit into those categories.

More on Seth Godin:

I’ve read his work in magazine articles (Fast Company) and I’ve read his book Free Prize Inside which affirms that innovation is actually cheaper than advertising. Maybe in a future post I’ll do a book review, but for now I’ll just say I loved reading his work, and Permission Marketing is high on my to-be-read list.

His bio from Amazon.com is posted here:

Seth Godin is the author of ten international bestsellers that have been translated into over 30 languages, and have changed the way people think about marketing and work. His Unleashing the Ideavirus is the most popular ebook ever published, and Purple Cow is the bestselling marketing book of the decade.

His latest book, Tribes, is a nationwide bestseller, appearing on the Amazon, New York Times, BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. It’s about the most powerful form of marketing–leadership–and how anyone can now become a leader, creating movements that matter.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth is founder and CEO of Squidoo.com, a fast growing recommendation website. His blog (find it by typing “seth” into Google) is the most popular marketing blog in the world. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne.

You can find every single possible detail that anyone could ever want to know at squidoo.com/seth.

Front Page stuff…to be sure

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