What do you think would sell better: A mediocre product by Anthony Robbins, or the greatest product ever that was 1,000 times better than the Robbins product, but put out by a complete unknown?
It's impossible to say for certain, but we do know for a fact that the Anthony Robbins product would fly out the door, whereas the 1,000 times better might not sell a single copy. Or with the right marketing and the right publicity, it could catapult its author to fame. Of course, that's probably a 1 in 1,000 shot.
Creating a name for yourself is just as important as putting out great products. And if your name is big enough, your products can be less than stellar and oddly enough, they will still likely sell.
Case in point: Andy Warhol – best known for painting soup can labels - died 26 years ago. Yet when some of his 'work' (and we use the term loosely here) was recently listed on Fab.com at exorbitant prices, it sold within minutes.
For example, there was what can best be described as a pink doodle of an anatomically incorrect woman that immediately sold for $800. Another doodle of two deer sold for $7,000. One of the Washington Monument that looks like the results from the least talented first grader sold for $6,000. And this didn't even include the $300 processing fee for each item.
Then there were the Polaroid snapshots: That's right – snapshots from one of those inexpensive cameras that shot out an oddly thick photo that developed before your eyes. Two Polaroids of a dozen eggs sold for $1200. No joke. It makes me want to run to the kitchen and start snapping away, and I guarantee my camera would make a much higher quality picture than Andy's 1970 model. But could I sell those photos for $1200? $12 maybe.
Then there was a single Polaroid of 15 crosses sold for $5,000. Again, I'm not making this up. And a Cabbage Patch Doll went for $6,000.
Now then, if you had drawn these or photographed these 1,000 times better than Andy Warhol – could you have sold them for those prices? Probably not. But the only reason you likely couldn't is because you haven't built a name for yourself yet.
Think about Coke and Pepsi – their product is nothing more than flavored, carbonated sugar water. You can buy the exact same thing in a generic brand for half the price. Yet Coke's and Pepsi's sales completely dwarf the sales of those cheaper cola's. Why? Because they have a name for themselves.
So in the coming weeks you might want to think more about how you can build your brand, and less on how you can create an amazing product. The old adage of “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door” simply isn't true. Stardom, however, can be priceless.