Marketing Miscellany II

Every once in a while, a growing legion of Seth Godin devotees, myself included, receive an email from the bestselling author, entrepreneur and self-proclaimed “agent of change” himself, reminding us that fresh, new content has been posted on his Web site. I’m there in seconds. And on my most recent visit, as always, there was the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, as he had just announced the launch of his latest brainchild, ChangeThis, a revolutionary, new non-profit medium with the noble intention of facilitating the spread of manifestos – “thoughtful, rational, constructive arguments about important issues” – in order to “help people change their minds to a more productive point of view.” I don’t know about you, but any business model that can use one of my all-time favorite movie lines – Jerry Maguire’s “Help me, help you” – to describe itself, has my ringing endorsement….

Speaking of nobility: Remember those Lance Armstrong yellow wristbands we talked about here nearly a month ago? In a direct mail fundraising appeal I had received from the Lance Armstrong Foundation last month, Lance was quoted as saying, “Ultimately, we want five million people worldwide to wear LIVE STRONG yellow wristbands.” On July 27, I wrote: “That’s a lot of wristbands, sure, but you won’t find me betting against Lance.” Well, sure enough, the August 15 edition of the Boston Sunday Herald reported that the wristbands have “become one of the hottest fashion trends this summer” with about eight million sold so far. Mine, along with who knows how many others, is on back-order. D’oh….

And finally, my wife, Barbara, and I just realized that the neighborhood block party we host annually just happens to fall this year on the three-year anniversary of that awful, ill-fated day that will live forever in infamy – September 11. So while writing our invitations, we decided to add a request for donations to Heroic Choices, a nonprofit organization originally founded as The Todd M. Beamer Foundation in memory of Todd Beamer, one of the heroes aboard United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. I didn’t think of it till now, but I guess you could say that in a very small way, this is our own little manifesto, our own personal way of helping people change their minds to a more productive point of view, one neighbor at a time.

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