Purple Cow, staging, and the economic slowdown

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I am reading Seth Godin’s Purple Cow.  I know, I am behind.  This has been on my list for a few years now and I happened to run across it at a bargain price, so I grabbed it.

If you don’t know the premise, it is about standing out in a sea of sameness or boringness.  Like a purple cow in a sea of normal cows.  This book represents the purple cow notion in the way it was published: landscape cover art, really short chapters of about 1-2 pages, and stars and takeaway points that you find in a cookbook.  (You know, like the tips that will show up as sidebars on how to cut a mango or what to substitute for kaffir lime leaves.)

So I recommend it, there are some great quick takes, and good advice contained in the book.

Here’s the question.  We all know there is a real estate slowdown.  But some houses are selling.  And home staging is the trend du jour.  Stats claim that staged homes sell faster than unstaged ones.  Why?  The home buyer can see themselves living in the house.  And once you can visualize it, you’ll want to buy it.  Staging isn’t evil, it’s just highlighting the positives.

How can marketers stage our products and services for a quicker sales cycle?  How can we use the ideas  of staging to create more effective marketing programs (and deliver more qualified leads)?  How can we give our customers 360 degree view of what life is like with our stuff?

For things like software as a service, or daily use tools, a day in the  life campaign or feature is really effective.  But what about for infrastructure that you install and forget it (until you have to change something, update it or troubleshoot?)  How can you show what a network switch, storage array, or datacenter does for you in a day or over a year or through out its lifecycle?

We all use case studies, success stories, white papers, webinars, analyst reports and ROI calculators to demonstrate value to our customers and prospects, but can we go the extra mile like stagers do?  I’ll be mulling this over, and I look forward to your thoughts.

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One thought on “Purple Cow, staging, and the economic slowdown

  1. Ethan

    I would invite people to come by and use said product. Show them how monitoring works, should them how easy it is to add additional x to y, help them understand how upgrades will take place. The worst part about infrastructure choices is the uneasy feeling that you just bought a lemon, or that it is near EOL, regardless of how long it has been on the market. White papers are useless, everyone has them, and they all tell you what you want to hear. Spec sheets are good, case studies are OK, though typically _highly_ biased. ROI calculations are worthless, because it’s nearly impossible to way one companies calcs with another companies. Interviewing another customer helps, but really touching, feeeling, and using a piece of equipment, even for just an hour or two, is excellent.

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