As many of you may know by now, I’ve had a tremendousopportunity to co-author a book with legendary marketer Dan Kennedy. Dan Kennedy has written 14business/marketing books, including 7 of the ‘No BS marketing’ books.
I had a unique opportunity to spend a couple of days with him inLouisville, Kentucky in the beginning of May… …which, of course means, at the Kentucky Derby. But before that, I had a chance toshoot the breeze with Dan Kennedy for a couple of hours and pick his brain.
Best Dan Kennedy Lesson The story from Dan Kennedy that sticks out the most is this (I’ll, ofcourse, try my best to paraphrase his story in my own words). The theme of his story was …”to ask the questions that no one dares to ask.”
Dan begins this story by talking about fashion week in NYC several yearsago and a gentleman named KennethCole. Kenneth Cole wanted to sell his shoes during fashion week.
And as much as he wanted to get noticed during fashion week, as anewcomer to the industry, he wasn’table to get a good booth placement at the event, which was located at the Hilton Hotel. In fact, the best booth available was all the way towards the back.
Mr. Cole knew that if he paidthe exuberant fee for the booth, hewould lose money because no onewould come back to visit him; much less buy his shoes. So instead of wasting money on a booth to be part of a losingventure, he wanted to rent a trailer in Manhattan during fashion week.
However, when he called the Mayor’sOffice at the City of Manhattan to askhow to rent a trailer and park it on aManhattan street, he was told that it was impossible without a permit. Here, most people would’ve given up… Here is where the big lesson comes in.
Ask the Question No One Daresto Ask At this point, Dan asks the room what they would’ve done…and no one has a good answer. So what question did Kenneth Cole ask that no one dared to ask?
When told that it was impossible for him to rent a trailer and park it inNYC during fashion week, KennethCole asked the following question… “Who can get a permit to rent a trailer and park it in NYC during fashion week?”
You see, most of the time, when someone is told ‘no’, they stop digging. But not Kenneth Cole…notin this situation. He stayed silent for over a minute and waited for the answer.
The answer, after a long delay, wasonly a production company could get a permit if they were shooting a motion picture. This gave Kenneth Cole his Million Dollar Idea.
Take the Action No One ElseDares What Kenneth Cole decided to do next took courage.
Upon learning that permits were only granted to utility companies and production companies shooting full-length motion pictures, Cole changed the name of the company from ‘Kenneth Cole Inc.’ to Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. and applied for a permit to shoot a full-length motion picture entitled “The Birth of a Shoe Company”.
Then he went and rented a truck,painted ‘Kenneth Cole Productions’ on the side of the truck, rented klieglights, hired a director, bought a rolling camera, hired models as actresses, as well as two NYPD policemen as doormen.
A velvet rope allowed a limitednumber of people into the trailers… …and in two and a half days theysold forty thousand pairs of shoes.
That’s a good 40k pairs more than he would’ve sold had he purchased a booth in the back of the Hilton orpacked up his belongings, took ‘no’ for an answer, and left. It’s why to this day they still keep thename Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc…to honor this most unusual beginning.
Marketing Miracles Book It’s stories like this…the success of an entrepreneur who perceived, tookunique action, and succeeded when allothers would’ve have failed that make entrepreneurship so much fun!
Believe it or not, a story like this didn’teven make it in to Dan Kennedy’s most recent (his 14th) book called “Marketing Miracles“. Marketing Miracles is a collaboration of success stories told by some of today’s most successful business owners…such as Black Box Social Media‘s own CEO Tom Bukacek.
“In ‘Marketing Miracles’, marketing legend Dan Kennedy leads a group of experts in a discussion of the greatestmarketing secrets of our time,” says Mr. Bukacek. “I’m fortunate to be one of Dan Kennedy’s co-authors for thiscollection of marketing expertise, and I know you’ll be able to convert morecustomers and attract more business by using the tips and strategies in my book.”
‘Marketing Miracles: Odd, Unusual, Breakthrough Strategies That BuildGreat Businesses’ will feature business and marketing professionals from around the world revealing their top marketing secrets and strategies.
Some of the topics to be covered in the book include the customer experience, social mediamarketing, new rules of marketing and analytics, pricing, turning opt-ins into sales and marketing technology, and much more.
The book is available for only $19.95 through this link here.If you’re looking for new and excitingways to market your product, why not learn from some of the top minds in the industry?