“Symptoms and Diseases”

In Seth Godin’s last blog post titled “Symptoms and Diseases”, he talked about the difference between the two. Symptoms are fevers or runny noses. The disease is the cause of the fever or runny nose. Godin brought up symptoms for knowing you have a good product. You may be on best seller lists, throw a great event, etc. According to Godin, businesses used to pay attention to the symptoms to see how good or bad their disease (product) was. Now, Godin says that people focus way too much on the symptoms to try and trick consumers into thinking they have a good disease. Godin argues, “Does the really buzzy launch party make the movie good, or does a good movie get a better party?” Godin then goes on to say that we should focus on the actual disease and make our products good in order to have good results.
I found the way he presented these ideas to be very interesting. Using a visual aid that everyone can understand always gets your point across well. I think that Godin brings up a very common problem though. Ethically, we should strive to make the best possible product and promote it the best we can. We are always told that honesty is the best policy. If we promote an awful product really well are we really being honest with our consumers? Working hard to make a truly good product and being transparent to your consumers about your product seems to be the best way to develop customer loyalty.
Seth Godin wraps up his blog post saying,”…it’s often worth keeping track of which part of the process you’re trying to invest in and which part you’re working to create. Spending time and money gaming symptoms and effects is common and urgent, but it’s often true that you’d be better off focusing on the disease (the cause) instead.”

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3 thoughts on ““Symptoms and Diseases”

  1. I think this is a really important topic for advertising professionals as well! We always need to remember that if the product isn’t good there’s really no amount of advertising that can make up for that.

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