This morning I read a great question over on Seth's blog. In talking with an author about his next project, Seth Godin asked, "are you writing this for strangers or friends?"
Now that is a GREAT question! Why? Easy. Think about the way you're going about what you're doing. Whether you're creating a brochure, building a building, or launching a new program…you need to answer this question first. Whether you are writing a speech (message, sermon, talk), crafting a direct mail piece, or introducing a new resource…you need to know and constantly return to the answer to this question.
I love the reasoning behind his question too.
implications are huge. It impacts how you design the cover, how you
price it, what it's about, where you sell it, when you publish it, how
much you pay for store displays, etc…
A fascinating side note is that the way Seth intended the distinction between stranger and friend is different than I would have guessed at the outset. I saw that question and immediately caught the significance for all of us. Then devoured his article, read between the lines, digested what was there, and could see that he was advocating designing your next project for friends…but defined friends in a social network sense.
Next thought? If you think about it that way, "everyone has ten times as many friends as they used to." If that's true for your customer…will that make a difference in whether you're creating – building – launching…for strangers or friends?