What’s the key to standing out in the crowded blogosphere?
More importantly, will standing out actually lead to long-term success?
Let’s take a stroll down marketing history lane to see if we can find some answers.
The Unique Selling Proposition
In 1961, a gentleman by the name of Rosser Reeves published a book entitled Reality in Advertising. In this book, Reeves revealed the secret behind his success as a copywriter and later as chairman of the Ted Bates advertising agency–the unique selling proposition (USP).
Reeves enjoyed great success throughout the relatively languid competitive climate of the 1940s and 50s by pointing out a specific and compelling benefit to the buyer that was unique to that product. The value-added benefit had to be something desirable that the competition did not, or could not, offer with their product.
Positioned in Your Mind
In 1981, Jack Trout and Al Reis released Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind based on a concept the two developed way back in 1969. Moving beyond the USP, Trout and Reis focused not on what you do to the product or service, but what you do to the mind of the prospective buyer.
Jack Trout relentlessly preached the power of positioning into the 1990s with The New Positioning, and into the new millennium with Differentiate or Die. The latter book comes full circle back to Rosser Reeves and the unique selling proposition, as Trout takes to task “creative” advertising that pulls heart strings but gives the prospect no reason to buy.
Purple Cows and Liars
In 2003, Seth Godin gave us Purple Cow, a book that riffs on the USP and positioning, but takes it a step further. Yes, your product or service must be unique, and yes, you must aim to position yourself in the prospect’s mind. But is it something worth talking about? Will your customers market for you?
In 2005, Seth released the essential companion to Purple Cow, and cleverly sought to avoid controversy by calling it All Marketers are Liars. It’s not enough to be remarkable—after all, we talk about distasteful things too. You’ve got to take it one step further and make sure that the story you’re telling is one that people want to hear.
Made to Stick
In 2007, brothers Chip and Dan Heath released Made to Stick. While positioned as an advanced exploration of the ideas contained in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, the book’s core stands on the shoulders of Reeves, Trout, and Godin, but takes it that one critical step forward.
How does something stand out on its own, in our minds, get us talking… and also endure? What determines whether you’ll get 15 minutes of fame or create a lasting impression?
Is Your Blog Sticky?
In social media, just about anyone can get 15 minutes of fame, or even 15 minutes a month. But what, ultimately, does that mean? Are you gaining an audience that will make you money or help you achieve your goals?
The key to niche marketing success is to avoid the dreaded “me-too” syndrome and meaningfully differentiate in a way that leads to profits. We’ll explore strategies that set your blog apart for the long haul with this series, How to Build a Sticky Blog.