It was just the other day I was having a conversation with someone about Paul Prudhomme. I don’t remember the specifics of the conversation (or even who I was having it with), but at one point the question came up whether Prudhomme was even still alive.
Actually, Prudhomme is still kicking and extremely successful (when he’s not dodging bullets). You just don’t hear from him that often (except when he’s dodging bullets).
Sidenote: Most interesting line in Prudhomme’s wikipedia entry is:
Dom DeLuise is sometimes confused for Prudhomme. Both have a similar body shape and enjoy cooking. They both often wear “newsboy”-style cloth caps and beards.
Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls.
But I do remember my conversation involved the over-saturation of another Nola celebrity chef – Emeril Lagasse. There’s really no doubt that Emeril is still alive. He’s everywhere. Cooking on a morning show. Bam! On a talk show. Bam! On a grocery shelf. Bam! In Vegas. Bam! Etc. Bam! Etc. Bam! Bam! Bam!
It’s easy to think that mass attention and mass exposure means marketing success. And in many cases, it does.
But true long term success does not involve 24/7 exposure. It involves dedicated followers.
The great unwashed masses will latch onto anything for awhile if it has sufficient exposure in the culture. And they’ll forget it just as quickly as the next thing comes along. Long term successes are built on the following of a dedicated few that truly believe in the product/person and spread the word.
To use a cooking analogy — While Emeril is sprinkling Essence™ on the entire surface, Prudhomme has been deep injecting a marinade into certain areas of the carcass.
Stop trying to get everybody. You can’t. There’s not enough time, money or attention.
Find a group of dedicated followers and be a huge success with them. Who cares if the rest of the world thinks you’re dead?