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From Permission Marketing to celebrating Failure

CONSUMERS don’t need to care as much as they used to. The quality of products has increased dramatically. Any new car will drive you to the destination, no bottle of water will leave you home sick nor a TV will self-destroy itself.

Every product now has reasonable quality, and will work for a considerable time.

Fortune Magazine 1997:

“In the twenty-first century, branding ultimately will be the only unique differentiator between companies. Brand equity is now a key asset.”

The amount of products and their quality may have increased but there is something that hasn’t, people’s time. Human beings have a finite amount of attention, they can’t be available to watch every commercial like they may have been when there was just one TV channel, remember every article like they did when there was just one newspaper. The amount of information around them has increased exponentially, and at the end the percentage of brand messages that people pay attention has decreased immensely.


Now, companies need people’s attention, which has given  consumers power they didn’t have before. Instead of 10 people competing for a Milk bottle, now 10 milk companies compete for each consumer.

Evasive marketing is not an option anymore; companies need to “ask” PERMISSION to the consumers for their time so they can get their message through.

A new concept of marketing rises as an answer for this challenge, Permission Marketing, initially popularized by the author Seth Godin in his book with the same name as the concept.  Permission comes with trust, and the more trust you build between your brand and the consumer the more permission you will have for their personal attention.
The concept of Permission Marketing is therefore related with two already existing concepts, the Relationship Marketing and the so called One-to-one marketing.

Since customer acquisition has become more competitive and expensive, business owners need to understand those previous marketing tools to focus on existing prospects by developing a trust relation with them, instead of finding as many prospects as they can to then try to turn them into customers with a lower effort per prospect.

Old sales and marketing involves increasing your market share by selling as much as you can to as many people as possible. Nowadays a more efficient way is increasing your “SHARE OF WALLET”, driving to share of customers, your goal must be repurchases and the costumer should buy into the entire brand, so it is Ok for him to buy a different sort of product under your brand.

“If this business were split up, I would give you the land and bricks and mortar, and I would take the brands and trade marks, and I would fare better than you”

John Stuart, chairman of Quaker ( ca. 1900 )


We can conclude that with this vast amount of products available we have built the largest economic engine in history, with all this tools bellow available to you, cheaper than ever before;

  • a place to build or organize your company
  • raw materials
  • distribution
  • money
  • marketing

Starting a company has never been easier, with all the business schools teaching you about  the concepts I just mentioned. You may wonder why almost everybody doesn’t just start their own!

It may have become easier to start, but it doesn’t mean it is easier to succeed as a start-up. I can mention now two statistics from the top of my head, one that says only 10% of the companies survive after year 2 of existence, and another saying only 1 out of 20! Tech start-ups that get a round of investment in Silicon Valley ever pays off.

Competition is fierce, and most likely you will not succeed in your first attempt. So success has actually more to do with how you deal with FAILURE than success itself.

Not wanting to sound revolutionary, but the fact is schools and companies do not reward failure so you tend to look at failure as something to avoid, and because initiative often leads to it, you avoid it the first place.

It’s not surprisingly that people often experience anxiety of failure in advance, anxiety about initiating a project, of public speaking, and they don’t differentiate risk from failure.

If only 10% of companies survive, then you may need to fail 9 times before you hit it! You need to self-educate yourself about risk, and this means going out there, experiencing failure and celebrating it, understanding that you are now one step closer than you were before.

“if you haven’t won, you haven’t failed enough” myself  🙂


And why not a music as well this time:

Image source:

Pedro Pimentel

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