Our product is annoying…great!

In the book PURPLE COW, Seth Godin smartly writes … “In almost every market, the boring slot is filled. The product designed to appeal to the largest possible audience already exists, and displacing it is awfully difficult. The real growth comes with products that annoy, offend, don’t appeal, are too expensive, too cheap, too heavy, too complicated, too simple — too something.

We are working on a product right now to help Father and Sons have “The Talk.” You know what I mean. The dreaded awkward sex talk.

There are a couple of videos on this DVD that push the envelope – especially in the conservative Christian marketplace. We knew this when we created it. The idea was to do something different. Something with a little shock value that people will remember. Think Southpark meets P.Diddy in Mystery Science Theater and you’ll get the idea.

So far, we’ve heard mostly good reviews. Yesterday though, we heard that one of our key decision makers was very annoyed by one of the videos. It just happened to be the one I created (sigh). It was a little bit of a set back for all of us to hear strong negative feedback about our work. Especially from someone we had hoped would love it and then issue us a purchase order to put it in his stores. The disappointment in our office was palpable.

But this quote from Seth made me think that we just might be on to something. Now, the tricky part is deciding how to move forward. Do we modify the video and make it less annoying? Do we go with it the way it is? The worst thing we could do is take out all the quirky elements that make it unique. That would fill the boring slot, as Seth points out.

So, what I think we will do is keep the same quirkiness but put a different flavor on it. It basically came down to this person’s personal preference on one of the animated characters. We’re going to modify a short segment of the video and let him look at it to see if we are on the right track before redoing the entire thing.

All that to say, I think we might be onto something and just because our product annoys some people doesn’t mean we need to start over (or get all depressed about it).