The other day I finally gave in and stopped at this place near Colorado Blvd in Pasadena. It’s a tiny shop that sells hotdogs and sodas. I’ve been driving by for years looking at masses of people wait outside in line. You’d immediately assume the hotdogs are pretty damn awesome.
Truth is I get tired just looking at the line, I’m not about to spend an hour waiting for a stupid hotdog. But I had to at some point. So I did. The hotdogs have this very particular and horrible taste. So I asked. It’s the “secret sauce” the waiter proudly responded with a smile on his face thinking I can’t get enough of it. I could barely keep it in my mouth.
It’s “secret”, they’re not gonna tell me what’s in it. Frankly I just wanted to avoid putting those ingredients together in the future, you know, by accident.
I first thought about all the poor people waiting outside to finally get this crap. Wrong, they have been here before. They’re back because they love it and can’t get enough of it.
I just happen to be outside of their selected group of raving fans, which by the way are enough to make a line outside on the sidewalk for an hour… at any given time.
Isn’t that what we all dream about when we start a business? Or when you put yourself in the public on a blog like this? To have something special that some people love to consume?
The Power of Unpopular
I was lucky enough to get an early copy of Erika Napoletano’s new book “The Power of Unpopular: A guide to building your brand for the audience who will love you (And why no one else matters)” (aff link) and I wanted to share a few thoughts with you.
That is exactly what the book is about, finding your business’ secret sauce that a group of people absolutely loves and not worrying about the rest, the ones that will never consume your products or services.
Without giving any of the juicy stuff away, I’ll say The Power of Unpopular takes you on a delicious ride that includes:
- Identifying your audience – An exercise that starts by isolating who your audience is not, who will never by your product and finally arriving to your ideal prospect
- Developing a personality – How to turn your business into a human brand and the emotional and practical aspects of that personality. As I always say in this blog, people like to do business with people
- Becoming an approachable brand – Erika uses a concept she calls “The Welcome Mat” to create a culture of “we’re here and we’re listening to you” to truly establish a 2-way communication with your audience, to tell a story and create response mechanisms
- Build a shareable brand – People love sharing awesome. You need to identify hardcore fans and enable them to become brand advocates and help you spread your message
- Scalability – How to build a foundation that is solid enough to grow but still keep under control. You build a business to a certain point but then you need your team and your audience to take it from there
- And how to build a profitable brand – Probably where we make the biggest mistakes in business. The time you put into your business for example, is often something we assume and have no control of it
What I love about the book
The book has a great set of case studies, we are used to reading about how brands do this and that and there is a total disconnection with the reader, since we’re usually small business. Not the case with Erika, the book presents some pretty cool examples of real people and businesses we can immediately relate to.
The book is truly an entrepreneurship guide for this time, it reflects a new culture that understands branding, marketing and overall communications from the heart of business. I’d not only recommend it to startups but also if you’ve been running a dinosaur for a business, this is how shit is done today.
I’ll admit this is an easy choice of a book for me. Erika Napoletano is one of the few individuals I religiously read week after week online. Straightforward. Edgy. Bold. Unfiltered. 0% Bullshit. And while the book is a bit more SFW, I’m happy to see her voice has been successfully translated into the book.
The book officially launches on 3/11 at SXSW Interactive, in case you’re planning to be around.
Win a FREE Copy
As promised, we’ll be giving away 2 copies of The Power of Unpopular here at SocialMouths. All you have to do is send out the following tweet:
The Power of Unpopular – Book Review And How To Win A FREE Copy @socialmouths http://bit.ly/unpopularbook #unpopular
Copy the tweet exactly as it reads (don’t forget the hashtag). We’ll get all the tweets together and randomly pick two winners. Tweets are valid until next Wednesday March 7 when we cut off and I’ll announce the 2 winners here on Friday March 9. Cool?
The copies will be mailed as soon as the book hits stores in a couple weeks.
So go ahead, tweet away!
The winners for the 2 FREE copies of The Power of Unpopular are…
- @kprovencher – Kaitlin Provencher from Woburn, MA
- @michael_epstein – Michael Epstein from Ne London, CT
** Winners please contact me at francisco[at]socialmouths.com and provide me with the following: 1) Do you prefer to get the book in the mail or a digital version? and 2) Your address to mail the book.