The race to the bottom is over.
So says Seth Godin, marketing guru and author of Graceful.
This is one of our very favorite Godin texts. In it he argues that consumers are realizing they cannot find more pleasure as easily as they might have thought; that buying more stuff does not satisfy their human needs. Instead, people seek meaning. This aligns quite well with Artifakt’s mission to connect people with mission-driven brands for more engaged, empowering and enjoyable relationships. We focus our efforts on building strong, rewarding relationships between a meaning-seeking audience, and meaning producing organizations.
The question then, is how do marketers convey meaning and connect people to things they care about?
According to Godin, we make connections, give gifts and strip away the insulation that keeps us safe, yet lonely.
Let’s break this down:
Marketing by making connections allows us to tap into the snowball effect. People connect to our brand when they find similarity in values. As the ball rolls it gathers more mass and surface area, making more connections along the way.
To give gifts is to bring surprise, delight, creativity and love into the interactions that make up our day. Marketers are in a unique position to do this. The generous marketer will trust in a new economy that is based on abundance, not scarcity. Scarcity isolates. Abundance creates the connections we all seek. Life is not a zero sum game. Generosity breeds more generosity and we all win.
Strip Away the Insulation
As marketers, we will have no impact if we insulate ourselves from the risk of failure. We must open ourselves up to failure if we hope to make real connections. Godin advises us to listen to our fears, squelch our anxiety and be brave. The new game is risky, but the rewards are great. When we win the generosity game we are rewarded with long-term connections and loyalty.
Change is here.
We can hide and insulate and be afraid and lonely, or we can take risks, reinvent and be generous. To quote Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, “Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind? Are you a cynic or a builder?”
Godin, Seth (2011). Graceful: Making a Difference in a World That Needs You [Kindle Cloud Reader version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com.
“We are What We Choose” Remarks by Jeff Bezos, as delivered to the Class of 2010 Baccalaureate. Princeton.edu. May 30, 2010. Princeton University. December 11, 2011