Thursday, January 27, 2005

Well Then Why Don't You Just Give It Away?

Here's another bit of insight from Seth Godin on those sharp minds at Google and the general clumsiness of Microsoft. What's most interesting to me is Seth's last line: "The more you give away, the more you get."

That line is completely relevant outside of the tech/internet world as well. Here's a great example.

(Full disclosure: my thoughts here are a bit self-serving since they help promote one of our company's clients, but I'm forging on nonetheless.)

If you visit the store at the original Kalamazoo Brewing Company location in downtown Kalamazoo, you can buy all sorts of the usual things you'd expect at such a place. Like, well, many different types of Bell's Beer, brewed by the Kalamazoo Brewing Company. Hats. Shirts. Jackets. Beer cozies — I think. But here's where it gets interesting — Larry Bell also offers an incredible collection of supplies for home brewers. Yeast, malts, small kegs, caps for bottles. The whole nine yards. Basically, everything someone needs to brew their own beer.


At a big corporate brewery, they'd freak out. Start shouting stuff like, "I want people to drink more of my beer, not their own!"

Fact is, a brewery providing great home brewing supplies is exactly the kind of non-MBA thinking that works so well these days. It makes people love the brand. It lets people know the people behind Bell's just flat-out love beer.

And it's wonderfully logical. Even if someone becomes a really successful home brewer, they're not going to stop drinking Bell's. They just won't. And then there's this: once they actually try home brewing, people will probably realize it takes real talent and hard work to brew beer that's as good as Bell's.

It's further proof that there are no marketing rules anymore. Today, successful marketers are the ones who have the freedom to think and the courage to try.

— Dean Gemmell


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