Seth Godin's latest book, "All Marketers Are Liars," is out and fits in nicely with his previous writings. While nowhere near as strong as "Permission Marketing" or "Purple Cow," Godin's key message is that your product/brand has to give consumers a story - something positive and desirable they can believe, carry with them, and communicate to others. Starbucks does this. Sadly, most GM products do not.
While there are some nuggets in "Liars," this passage stood out to me:
"One competitor makes a change and suddenly the entire competitive landscape is different. The reason marketing seems irrational and inconsistent and faddy is that it is. It is because unlike most business functions, the actions of our competitors (and our actions as well) change what's going to work in the future. That doesn't make it safe, but it seems to keep it interesting."
We know this only too well in radio. The "macro" impact is when the iPod comes along, or consumers begin to start finding music and entertainment via Internet streaming. It quickly changes the environment. And we know the "micro" as well because it now happens every time a Jack station (or other new competitor) signs on in an otherwise stable marketplace. Established brands better have a great story to tell - and one that's not the same old same old.