Seth Godin is the business consultant, author and chirpy chap who invented the term “Permission Marketing”. He’s also is a brilliant observer and commentator.
Regarding Apple’s launch of the iPad he calls the product a “permission asset”:
Over 25 years, Apple has earned the privilege of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to their tribe. They can get the word out about a new product without a lot of money because one by one, they’ve signed people up. They didn’t sell 300,000 iPads in one day, they sold them over a few decades.
Yes, along with every other comentator, he’s commenting on the iPad. But he doesn’t just deliver a product review. Instead he comments on the launch and how close-to-perfect this launch is. [Secrets of the biggest selling launch ever.] Godin uses the iPad as a subject for a case study of how to launch a product. Yes, Godin outlines the whys and wherefores of the launch.
Two points he makes relate to essential storytelling:
- Make a product worth talking about. Sounds obvious. If it’s so obvious, then why don’t the other big companies ship stuff like this? Most of them are paralyzed going to meetings where they sand off the rough edges.
- Make it easy for people to talk about you. Steve (Jobs) doesn’t have a blog. He doesn’t tweet and you can’t friend him on Facebook. That’s okay. The tribe loves to talk, and the iPad gave them something to talk about.
And that’s why the iPad will do so well. People will talk about the iPad.
Rather than having to create a new brand story (say, how the iPad will benefit your life) they let the fans of the product build the brand through their reviews. Most brands need to manufacture a brand story, often via their ad agency. This product doesn’t. It’s perfect.
Perfect, but without hubris, since it does indeed have a few flaws. EG Godin says he would like to change the number of apps icons on any one screen to be more than 20. Others say that they hope version 2 will have USB ports, a SIM-card, less weight, more apps etc etc. Fair enough, but 300,000 people in the USA bought the product because they can.
Yes, the iPad does everything that Apple can make it do. And all the fans have faith in the omnipresent, omnipotent Apple.
Let’s all learn Godin’s way of analysing and how he provides a platform for learning from other people’s case studies. We should all learn to be able to think like Godin.