The Secret to Zero Cost Marketing

The secret to free marketing is, in a word, remarkability. Whereas a humdrum product will need constant investment to get the word out there, a remarkable one will sell itself.

By Jamie Hutchinson

Sat July 13th 2024

The Secret to Free Marketing? Remarkability.

In Seth Godin’s classic marketing book Purple Cow, he illustrates how making a product or service truly remarkable will save you a fortune in marketing costs. Whereas a humdrum product will need constant investment to get the word out there, a remarkable one just needs a little gentle encouragement and the word spreads like wildfire. Because remarkable products and services get, well… remarked upon. People tell each other. And there simply isn’t a better form of marketing than friends telling friends.

It’s simply no longer enough to make a mediocre product and then pass it to the marketing team to find an angle, or a hook to shift a few units. Purple Cow thinking suggests you build your marketing in at ground level by making your product so remarkable you won’t even need a marketing department.

Is remarkable difficult? You bet. But it is possible.

Here are some examples…

Casper Casper© Casper Sleep Inc.

Casper is a mattress startup helping us all get a better night’s sleep. They’ve done away with the traditional bed and mattress showroom with enormous overheads, and are instead focusing on the science of support and comfort. In the case of Casper, it’s not necessarily the mattress that’s truly remarkable – it’s the way it’s delivered.

Think of the way you’d usually shop for a mattress. You might visit a store and try it out for yourself, before placing an order. You’d then place an order and it would be delivered to your home. But mattresses are huge, unwieldy and heavy – they can get stuck on winding staircases, and you might have trouble fitting them through doorways.

With Casper, the delivery process has been revolutionised. The company use industrial machines to compress the mattresses into small boxes that can easily be manoeuvred into any home. Whether you live on the top floor of an apartment block or you’re a single person who can’t handle delivery of a mattress solo, the entire process has been made super-simple.

EXO EXO© EXO Protein

It’s common knowledge that insects are among the most potent sources of protein on the planet. Crickets, in fact, are a complete protein source. They contain all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of our bodies), and they contain more iron than spinach, chicken, salmon and eggs. But eating a cricket whole isn’t exactly appealing, even if you are looking to bulk up and keep lean.

EXO has managed to turn crickets into clean, sustainable protein bars that don’t taste like you’re eating bugs. Packed with other wholesome ingredients like cocoa nibs and dates, these simple bars are helping convince thousands of people to join the bug-eating revolution.

Cricket farming is more sustainable than regular livestock farming – the process produces 1% of the greenhouse gases produced by cows. They provide maximum nutrition with minimal resources – and by all accounts, they taste great. Taking something unpalatable and transforming it into something useful is certainly remarkable enough to sell – and judging by the success of EXO so far, the cricket protein revolution is only just getting started.

Impossible Foods Impossible Foods© Impossible Foods Inc.

Calls for people to eat less meat have fallen on deaf ears, despite the fact that the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations recently estimated that livestock production is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Other studies estimate this figure could actually be as high as 51%.

People love eating meat – especially beef. But relying on livestock to meet consumer demand requires a huge amount of land and water, and pollutes the environment. That’s where Impossible Foods comes in.

No more veggie burgers with all the allure of cardboard. Impossible Foods creates delicious meat substitutes that are indistinguishable from the real thing. Their first product, the Impossible Burger is made from 100% plant protein, using a unique ‘building block’ called heme. Heme is what makes meat taste so… meaty. And the team at Impossible Foods have found a way to create this magic ingredient without mass livestock farming.

Compared to cows, the Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water, and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a total game-changer for vegetarians, meat eaters and the planet.

Ultra-Ever Dry

© Ultra-Ever Dry

Ultra-Ever Dry is a unique coating that repels water to an incredible degree. Perfect for use on everything from tools and equipment to clothing and footwear, this superhydrophobic and oleophobic coating will repel water like nothing else currently on the market.

The coating is ideal for keeping objects dry, and it offers corrosion protection for things like equipment and tools. Because it repels dirty water and certain oils, it can also keep objects clean. Imagine if you were a plumber who never had to wash their work overalls because they repelled water and grime all day long!

Like many truly remarkable products, Ultra-Ever Dry’s videos have been viewed and shared millions of times on YouTube.


© Loctote

We all know someaone who has had something lifted from their bag by a thief. Whether it’s a wallet, a purse or mobile phone, theft feels like a real violation – Loctote set out to do something about it.

Loctote bags are designed to be theft proof. Their FlakSack is lockable, so you can leave it hanging on the back of your chair in a restaurant, or on the beach when you go for a swim, safe in the knowledge that no one can access your belongings.

As well as being made from a double layer of heavy-duty fabric, the bag is knife-proof, water-repellent, and made from an RFID blocking material to effectively shield contactless credit cards, passports, smart cards and key cards from unauthorised scanning. Yes, it’s just a bag. But a truly remarkable bag.

All of these startups have built global reputations thanks to the remarkable nature of their products, and prove that the secret to zero cost marketing is to engineer remarkability into the very DNA of your product or service.

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