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Against the Grain

Forget big marketing budgets--it's time to think outside the (cereal) box.

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This story appears in the August 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Spending big bucks on advertising and product development is so over, proclaims marketing expert Seth Godin in Free Prize Inside: The Next Big Marketing Idea (Portfolio, $19.95). Today, if you want a successful product, you must include "soft innovation" in the product itself. Soft innovation is innovation anybody can do. It requires initiative and curiosity, as opposed to a Ph.D. in molecular biology. It-or rather the "free prize" of the innovation-will cause the product to sell itself.

Godin presents techniques, tools and tricks for soft innovation. One of the most interesting is "edgecraft," or exaggerating a feature of a product or service to make it remarkable. For instance, make the permanent disposable-disposable digital cameras. Or make the disposable permanent-$2,000 ink pens.

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