I Read a Book: Purple Cow
Seth Godin's Purple Cow is the first (and so far, only) of his books I've read, though I do read his blog. Seth is a marketing guru that has some very worthy insight for anyone looking to sell something in today's rapidly changing world of media.
Seth is someone who knows that what worked then won't work now. His concept of the Purple Cow is simple: create something that is remarkable. Remarkable products are easy to remember, not just so that people will pick it up at the grocery store or Target, but so that people will tell other people about it. When someone tells someone else (something good) about your item or store, your cost to advertise to that listener is $0.00. No matter what your product sells for, that's a great deal on advertising.
He offers several good and bad examples of companies that embrace this idea and others that seemed to have missed a golden opportunity. He also draws the line between remarkable and sensational, important and gimmicky, and the built-to-last and the one-hit-wonders.
I'm not a marketer by title (or education), but I am developing a product that I actively brand and market every single day. If you’ve heard of Godin before, you're probably a fan. But if you haven't, and you're trying to start a business, get people to your eBay store, or trying to get more readers to your blog, this quick read is well worth the afternoon.
Stuff won't jump out at you on every page, and a lot of the book is stuff you may have thought of already, but Seth clearly defines the need for everyone to be remarkable.
If they want to be around in a year, that is.