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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On-the-edge is far safer than status quo!
I'm a big fan of Seth Godin. His books Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Idea Virus, Purple Cow, and The Big Red Fez continue impact me on an almost daily basis. One thing I love about Seth is that he persuasively argues that in today's economy thinking on-the-edge is far safer than maintaining the status quo.
In Purple Cow, Seth argued that businesses and...
Published on July 5, 2004 by Marc

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Champion of innovation
The book is well written, however as in many business books the Free Prize Inside could have been an article in a business publication rather than a book. The premise of the book is to develope your ideas and get others in the organization to take ownership and champion your cause. This could have been abbreviated to five pages.
Published on October 4, 2011 by business101


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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On-the-edge is far safer than status quo!, July 5, 2004
By 
Marc "Fundraisingcoach.com" (Waterville, ME, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I'm a big fan of Seth Godin. His books Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Idea Virus, Purple Cow, and The Big Red Fez continue impact me on an almost daily basis. One thing I love about Seth is that he persuasively argues that in today's economy thinking on-the-edge is far safer than maintaining the status quo.
In Purple Cow, Seth argued that businesses and nonprofits need to be remarkable in order to survive. Being remarkable means that people will tell their friends about your product or service. Purple Cow was a thought provoking book but was lacking in helping readers implement the ideas. Free Prize Inside takes it the next step and shows us how to market and create remarkable changes in our organizations.
Free Prize Inside is divided into three sections:
* Why You Need a Free Prize
* Selling the Idea
* Creating the Free Prize
A "free prize" is a soft innovation. Seth builds the case for the urgent need of people in all organizations, including nonprofits, to be championing soft innovations. Soft innovations are the "clever, insightful, useful small ideas that just about anyone in an organization can think up." A free prize may seem like a gimmick at first but it actually becomes an essential part of your product or service. We all know what our favorite cereal tastes like, but it becomes irresistible when we see we can get a free prize inside the box. To illustrate his point, Seth is selling the first printing of this book in a special-made cereal box! You can pre-order a copy at Amazon.com.
He's convinced that anyone can come up with a free prize inside. The problem comes when we share it with others. Seth says our co-workers or boss, ask three basic questions:
1. Is this idea doable?
2. Is it worth doing?
3. Are you the one able to do it successfully?
If they aren't able to answer "yes" to all three questions, they won't join you, and the idea will die. The second section of the book is dedicated to specifically showing us how to keep our innovations alive by championing them and winning the support of others. After all, creating a free prize isn't important if we can't sell it to our organization.
The last section is dedicated to creating the free prizes. What would make your organization remarkable? Here Seth introduces his new concept of "edgecraft." He explains, "You're...caught in the center of a web of boring. The goal of edgecraft is to pick an edge (there are hundreds to choose from) and go all the way with it-even a little further than that if you can. Moving a little is expensive and useless. Moving a lot is actually cheaper in the long run and loaded with wonderful possibilities."
Donuts are boring but Krispy Kreme found an edge and made them sensational. Netflix did the same with movie rentals. They created a free prize by transforming the rental experience and created a very loyal customer following. The United Way found free prize when they discovered the concept of payroll deduction. Pushing that edge has helped them raised a lot of money!
Free Prize Inside is an inspiring and practical way for us to find our organization's edges and push for a free prize. It comes with extensive endnotes that cite Seth's sources, expand on points, and point you to great information on the web. I particularly appreciate Seth's constant attention to the nonprofit sector throughout the book. I highly recommend getting a copy. And, if you order it before it's published in May, you can still get it in a cereal box!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 'how t'o for becoming a purple cow, May 12, 2004
Godin's previous book, Purple Cow, presents examples of how to stand out from the herd. Free Prize Inside shows how to make that happen. It answers questions of "How do you create a Purple Cow?" "How do you make something sell itself?"
When we buy cereal, especially kiddie cereal, what's the best part? The free prizes inside, of course! That's the thinking behind the book.
Free prizes aren't just the stuff you find in cereal or Cracker Jack. Does your credit card offer free airline miles or money towards the next car you buy? That counts. What about an online store offering free shipping? What I remember the most about some tradeshows and expos are the drawings for free prizes, the goodies I received, and the shirts I still have.
This book has impeccable timing. As an editor of a newsletter, I have been struggling to find ideas to pep it up and draw in more subscribers since new subscriptions have slowed down. I cheat and go straight to page 131, the start of the list of "Edges" and look for a spark of creativity to create an "Edgecraft" (book's buzzword) to find a free prize. The goal is to find something to reel people in, to give them something they want like the previously mentioned examples.
I learn from examples and Godin lists plenty of them using Edgecraft in action. He is not saying you have to invent something new to make something happen. It's about taking what you already have going and how to make your product, service, head, blog, whatever worth talking about and watching the results.
With three kids, a spouse, two jobs, a house, and volunteer work, finding time to read a book is a challenge. Even if I weren't a book reviewer, getting through this book would be a breeze because (a) it's 183 pages (the rest are detailed endnotes with references and explanations), (b) it highlights plenty of key points for easy scanning, and (c) each section or idea is short. Getting bite-sized pieces of information is enough to get going with the concepts gleaned from the book and make something happen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free Prize Inside contains pearls of wisdom from Godin, February 13, 2006
By 
Daniel J. Smith (Waconia, MN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Mr. Seth Godin's Free Prize Inside is about creating an innovation and then causing it to happen. His premise is that if you make your service or produce worth talking about (make it "remarkable") the word will spread. This is much more effective than advertising, what he refers to as interruption media. Mr. Godin sprinkles interesting observations throughout the book, like this gem - "Just because you have money doesn't mean you can trade it for attention by buying advertising. Consumers have learned how to ignore you."

He describes items included free with a purchase as a gimmick and uses the example of the prize in a Cracker Jack box. He recommends that companies should focus on unsatisfied customers vs. the satisfied customers because unsatisfied customers are the ones that really want a free prize. Gimmicks can work because we buy what we want - "Do we want the fortune cookie or the fortune?"

Because an organization's adoption of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with whether it's a good idea or not, Mr. Godin emphasizes that selling the idea of a soft innovation (the free prize) is as important as the innovation itself. So he tells you first HOW to sell the idea, then he explains ways to CREATE the free prize. He helps you champion innovations by listing 17 tactics that can be used to sell your idea. For example, he describes how to change the mind of a group of people - have the group see tangible proof that everyone else is changing their mind as well.

To find new ideas, he recommends NOT brainstorming but instead using a process that identifies the soft innovations that live on the edge of what already exists - Edgecraft. In his book, Mr. Godin gives 30 ways to apply Edgecraft with real-world examples for each. One good example is Cranium's decision to sell board games at Starbucks - he called this successful innovation the "jump the retail channel" edgecraft.

Mr. Godin uses facts to back up his claims, like Amazons substantial sales increase when they shifted marketing dollars to providing free shipping on all orders. Throughout the book he has a conversational tone that is pleasant. It is an easy read because he uses every day examples and simple graphs to further explain and clarify his statements.

Mr. Godin professes that this is a marketing book. Whether you are in the Marketing department of your organization or not I would highly recommend reading Free Prize Inside. And yes, there is a free prize inside the book!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free Prize Needs to be read with Purple Cow, May 13, 2004
By 
"islanddistrict" (Miami, Florida USA) - See all my reviews
Free Prize is what I see as the related follow-up to Seth's powerful last book Purple Cow. These two books together serve as my small company's product development / product innovation department. Free Prize has 3 distinct elements that make it worth the buy:
1) The whole 2nd section on how to champion your idea. This is invaluable. This section shows the reader how to get team/corporate adoption once you develop a product/service innovation. This section is worth the value of the whole book.
2) The concept of Edgecrafting. This is suppose to be an alternative to Brainstorming. This is a powerful concept. Everyone likes to Brainstorm, but how many real products or services come from a generic Brainstormin session. Plus how often can an operational company really brainstorm? The concept of Edgecrafting is one that can be done on a daily basis. Seth teaches the reader how to go to the edge (he gives examples of edges) and shows you how to innovate from their.
3)The endnote section. Seth includes an extensive list of references, websites, and various endnotes for further exploration. Once again, just reading and researching the various endnotes could give you ancillary reading material for the next year!
I love it. I still put Permission Marketing and IdeaVirus (these are books about business models - you can build a business around these concepts!) as Seth's best books, but Free Prize comes in right after those two.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seth Godin's Best Yet, January 19, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Awesome book. Seth's "BIG FRONT FOUR" (my name for four key excerpts that knocked me for a loop)...

"Focus on the unsatisfied."

"Make An Invisible Service Visible."

"The free prize transcends the utility of the original idea."

"When you identify what's broken among your competitors,

you've found a free prize."

... caused us to find our product's "Secret Prize."

We implemented a program within 5 days that has so far caused sales to jump by 50%. Tremendous feedback from inbound e-mail corroborates that we're on the right track, as does the fact that existing customers identify strongly with this "core" messaging.

I've read all of Seth Godin's books. This one is his best.

Ken Evoy

President, SiteSell.com

htttp://[...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Champion of innovation, October 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Free Prize Inside: How to Make a Purple Cow (Paperback)
The book is well written, however as in many business books the Free Prize Inside could have been an article in a business publication rather than a book. The premise of the book is to develope your ideas and get others in the organization to take ownership and champion your cause. This could have been abbreviated to five pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brian Bleifeld CPA 100 word review, April 25, 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Free Prize Inside! (Hardcover)
I quote the Author

"Make something remarkable. Create a Purple Cow with a free prize inside, Create a fashion. Get Sneezers excited about your product, help it become an ideavirus within a hive. Get permission from the early adopters with otaku, so you can keep in touch with them and let them know about your next fashionable soft innovation. Milk the cow, make a profit. Use edgecraft to make your next free prize. Alert the permission base of sneezers. Repeat.

Definitions

Sneezers - Influential ideavirus spreader.
Edgecraft - Ideas stretched
Purple Cow - Something Remarkable
Freeprize - Remarkable and satisfies wants
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic from Seth Godin, July 2, 2007
Every one of his books, blog posts, articles, speeches, etc, are top notch. This book is no exception.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to get addicted to the type of thinking in this book., January 30, 2007
This book has some very snazzy packaging and you can even get it inside a cereal box. Seth Godin knows how to get people's attention and mine was fully captivated as I devoured this book. Free Prize is full of Seth's musings on how to create "soft innovations" within an organisation. A soft innovation being a "clever, insightful, useful small idea that just about anyone in an organisation can think up". If you want a book to get you thinking outside the (cereal) box and to get your brain on a different planet where those cool things you and your friends talk about may actually one day be dreamed up by you - this is the book. As I was reading it I was constantly bugging my family with snippets from it like the idea he had for randomly putting $100's in the $20 slot of an ATM as a promotional idea or the gardening company who provided quotes from satellite photographs and sent them out on frisbees.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any marketer or business person..., June 4, 2004
By 
Remember back in the day when every cereal came with a "Free Prize Inside?" Maybe it was a toy, a game, or maybe even a bowl. You (or possibly your kids) would stand in the cereal aisle at the market, and your choice of what to buy would depend more on what the prize was than the cereal, because the cereals were pretty much all the same: wheat or corn, sugar, possibly pretty colors or a cartoon mascot. Well, in Seth Godin's fantastic follow-up to "Purple Cow" (another must-read), he contends that the business world today is much like that cereal aisle... companies are offering very similar products and services, and the differentiation comes from offering their own form of a free prize. Godin first explains what a free prize is, he then tells how to sell your great idea to your colleagues, and then he focuses on what you can do (edgecrafting- read the book to learn more about this awesome idea) to create a free prize. Nevermind that his ideas are fantastic, Godin is one of the best business writers out there. His books always offer really interesting examples of companies who have demonstrated some of the ideas he offers, and his books are so fun to read that you will find yourself laughing and sharing some of his stories with your colleagues and friends. BUY THIS BOOK!
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Free Prize Inside: How to Make a Purple Cow
Free Prize Inside: How to Make a Purple Cow by Seth Godin (Paperback - April 24, 2007)
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