Thursday, September 16, 2010

The $40-Million Marketing Secret from Seth Godin #sethgodin

Looking back over my notes from Seth's lecture last month at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, I found this nugget:
Little Miss Matched is not in the sock business. They are in the conversation business.
When 12-year-old girls get a 3-pack of non-matching socks from Little Miss Matched, they can't wait to tell their friends.

And with socks starting at $8.00 for 3 (plus shipping), there's plenty of profit left over for Little Miss Matched, which did $40 million in 2009, according to Godin.

The breakthrough for Little Miss Matched -- like most successful businesses -- came after they discovered the business they were really in.

It turns out, as you'll see in the video below, Little Miss Matched is in the business of starting conversations ... conversations that equate to millions of dollars in word-of-mouth sales.

Zappos isn't really in the shoe business. They are in the business of delivering happiness. (Sounds like a book title! -- #irony)

FedEx isn't really in the express shipping business. They are business of making your shipping department look good.

Action Step: Ask yourself this $40-million question: "What business are we REALLY in?"

Pick a niche. Deliver an unexpected experience that's remarkable -- literally worth remarking about to other people. Then clean up.

(Kevin M. Donlin is author of the Special Report, Guaranteed Marketing for Small Business Professionals.)


  1. Although I do get what you are trying to say (for the FedEx and Zappos examples), I'm not quite sure what 'niche' Little Miss Matched is trying to go for?

  2. Ellen,

    The niche for Little Miss Matched is 12 year-old girls who wear socks.

    More importantly, Little Miss Matched does more than sell socks. They sell socks that start conversations. Those conversations are really word-of-mouth marketing, which increase sales. The cycle feeds on itself ... and sales grow.