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How to Be Different: “Create A Contagion”

The crux of Guy Kawasaki’s book “The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything” is about turning ideas into action! In chapter 9, “The Art of Branding,” Guy offers advice on how to create a remarkable product or brand.

Who: Guy Kawasaki

What: “Create A Contagion”*

What is it?

Create “something contagious that infects people with enthusiasm.”

How is it done?

Contagion is…
Cool – Cool is beautiful. Cool is hip. Cool is idiosyncratic. And cool is contagious…

Effective – You can’t brand crap. You can’t brand something that doesn’t work.

Distinctive – It is easy to notice and advertises itself. It leaves no doubt that it is different from the competition.

Disruptive – Contagious products are disruptive. They either upset competitive status quo (“Oh, hell, this is better. We’re in trouble.”) or make them go into denial (“Why would anyone want a graphical user interface?”). But they do not leave people unaffected.

Emotive – It exceeds expectations, and by exceeding expectations, it makes you joyful.

Deep – The more you use it, the more you discover what it is capable of.

Indulgent – Purchasing it makes as feel as if you’ve indulged yourself. This may be because it costs more than alternatives, it’s cooler, or it’s more than you really need. Thus, it enables you to escape the mundane.

Supported – Provide exemplary service.

Guy continues the chapter with great advice on brand building… but we’ll stop here… with focus on remarkability.

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*This post was originally referred to as Guy’s advice for creating “Secret Sauce.” He recommends when you are pitching your product/service/company that you explain the underlying magic of your company. What is the “technology, secret sauce, or magic behind your product or service?” By sharing your contagion, you’ll accomplish this task.

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