Monday, June 16, 2008

Seinfeld on Marketing

Can Seinfeld teach you about marketing? Utah marketer Bill Gammell thinks so. He’s written a short e-book called Seinfeld on Marketing: 7 Marketing Lessons from the Cast of the Show about Nothing.

I was never a huge fan of the show, but the following excerpt from the script (reprinted in the book as Lesson 2) sounds eerily real.

Jerry is picking up his reserved rental car at the rental agency:
JERRY: I made a reservation for a mid-size.
AGENT: Okay, let’s see here. (The agent checks on her computer)…
I’m sorry, we have no mid-size available at the moment.
JERRY: I don’t understand. I made a reservation. Do you have my reservation?
AGENT: Yes, we do, unfortunately we ran out of cars.
JERRY: But the reservation keeps the car here. That’s why you have the reservation.
AGENT: I know why we have reservations.
JERRY: I don’t think you do. If you did, I’d have a car. See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation, and that’s really the most important part of the reservation—the holding. Anybody can just take them.

Funny stuff. And it feels so real. I've been in many situations like this, and I just wish I had Jerry’s clarity in pointing out the gaps in the clerk’s logic.

Gammell draws a lesson in branding from this scene:
"When you think about it, a reservation is nothing more than an expectation. And quite simply, this is also the definition of a brand. A brand is a perceived expectation in an exchange of value. In other words, if I give you something that I value (my time or my money), then I expect something of value in return from you. The stronger the brand is, the greater the expectation I have. But this expectation of mine goes much deeper than just your products or services. It is an expectation of anything and everything relating to your business."

If you want more, you can download the e-book for free by clicking here. It’s a fun read that won't take 15 minutes.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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