Marketing Lessons from Seth Godin’s ‘We Are All Weird’
We Are All Weird: The Rise of Tribes and the End of Normal by Seth Godin celebrates weirdness and explains how and why today’s marketing efforts should no longer focus on the masses, but, rather the conglomerate of niche markets. The rise of the internet and saturated market have created an evolving landscape where what makes you different is what sets you apart. The era of mass production and expectations around conforming to what’s “normal” is over. For today’s companies and individuals, Godin argues, “weird is the new normal.”
To sell his point, Godin tells a story of the suit store he visited as a child. He remembers how, as a young boy, there were two suits in an entire suit store that fit him. One was ugly, so he really only had one option. The masses had picked his suit for him. Fast forward 30 years and you can now buy a single shoe of your choosing instead of a pair of shoes on Nordstrom’s website. Weird has won out.
Godin is a man of many manifestos, including his newest book This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See. They all have meaningful takeaways for marketers and brands. We Are All Weird is no exception.
We asked a few of our weirdest staff members to share their thoughts on Godin’s manifesto. Here is what they had to say.
“The Obligation of the Weird is to Be Engaged.”
The concept that intrigued me the most was that if we demand weirdness in our market, we must remain engaged. If we demand weird content or offbeat products, we have an increased responsibility to engage with or buy the stuff. This reframed my way of thinking about consumer loyalty and responsibility. Give the people what they want, and they’ll remain loyal to your brand. Conversely, if you demand a product, you need to support it in order to sustain it.
Assistant Account Executive/Google Adwords Specialist
“Don’t Dress Up Your General and Pretend It’s Particular. It’s Not.”
Throughout the manifesto, Godin states that there is only one thing worse than being general or average – that’s being general or average and passing it off as particular or new. This idea really resonated with me. Brands need to take chances if they want to be seen as authentic. It’s also challenged me to avoid doing this in my own job. It pays to take the time to go above and beyond with your idea and execution.
“The Weird Set an Example for the Rest of Us. They Raise the Bar.”
My favorite insight from We Are All Weird is that the “weird” raise the bar for the rest of us just by embracing their weirdness. We now live in a culture that celebrates weirdness and condemns sameness. The newest, coolest, weirdest ideas draw attention and ultimately success. Godin’s concept has encouraged me to embrace my weirdness in my internship. This gives my coworkers a chance to get to know me and trust me. It pushes me to use something unique about myself to do more engaging, more interesting work.
This article is part of our B On The Books series, in which Braithwaite staff explain their favorite ideas from the best business and marketing books. Read more in this series.