"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” ? Dr. Seuss
Finally, a book where we can all rejoice in something that we have known for a long time: this world is getting weird and that’s probably a good thing.
In his new book, We Are All Weird, Seth Godin celebrates the rejection of conformity. He argues that the end of mass marketing has come and this is now the opportunity for each business owner to shape their own dreams. Seth says that the Internet makes it all possible by being able to reach and impact a particular “tribe.” Mass marketing can no longer push the consumer to a mold into a universal "normal" just to sell more products.
In his book, Seth quotes Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google who estimates that every two days, we produce as much information as was created for all mankind for the 20,000 years leading up to 2003. As Seth describes, “It’s not all good information, sure, but there’s a lot of it and it can’t help be not-so-normal.” He cites that there is “more choice, less mass.” For example, the market share of the big three networks over the years has gone from 90 to 30 percent. This explosion of media choices supports the weird.
In the book, Harvard professor Eric Beinhocker calculates that there are 10 billion items for sale in New York City. He says that this is up from 250 items about 500 years ago. Seth concludes that “Ten billion items, all vying for our attention…Can we agree that almost everything on the list is weird?” This explosion of shopping choices definitely supports the weird.
Seth's list of the four Forces of Weird:
1. Creation is amplified
The ability to reach and change those around us are changed forever with the connection of the Internet. Anyone, anywhere can publish anything to the entire world (and they do everyday).
2. Rich allows us to do what we want (and we want to be weird)
Seth defines rich as someone that “can afford to make choices and who has enough resources to do more than merely survive.” He points out that this doesn’t mean a private plane, but enough “time and food and health and access to be able to interact with the market for stuff and ideas.” As our productivity has skyrocketed, we can now focus on what we want to do instead of just surviving. “Standing out takes time, money and confidence. More of us have all three now.” This explosion of wealth supports the weird.
3. Marketing is far more efficient at reaching the weird
It’s a lot easier to reach the “particular pocket of weird people with the stuff they are obsessed with.” In turn, it makes it easier to be obsessed and marketers go along with it since they can reach a particular consumer.
4. Tribes are better connected
People can now easily congregate in tribes so “weird is perversely becoming the new normal, at least in the small tribes…” As Seth reflects, "the community you choose mirrors you and further amplifies the unique interests you do have.”
How are you marketing to the weird and making money?