Think about the things people talk about at home, at work, at school or at the coffee shop. You don’t really hear about the normal, mundane things of life. “Well, Bob, yesterday I took out the trash.” No, you hear about the remarkable things. You hear about the things worth mentioning. People talk about things that have grabbed their attention. We’re living in a day where it is so easy to simply ignore things. We ignore commercials; we ignore advertisements; we ignore mass emails. These ways of marketing will no longer be of value to us in this next generation.
Rather, the way to advertise, the way to get people to look at your product, is to make something remarkable. Instead of pushing your idea on someone, you are pulling people toward your product. In the United States, people do not like to be pushed. They want to make their own choices with their own lives in their own way at their own time with their own money. Pushing doesn’t work. Pulling does.
How do you pull someone into your idea? You make it remarkable – make it something people talk about. If you can draw someone into your idea, if you can draw someone into your product, you’ve won. I recently had the privilege of watching this video by Seth Godin at the 2003 Ted Conference. Take a look.
As he was talking, I thought to myself, “How do I make something remarkable?” What grabs people’s attention? What do people talk about around the water cooler? There are at least five ways to grab people’s attention.
1. Make it bizarre – People talk about weird things. In the video, Seth talks about purple cows. If I’m driving down the street and I see a cow, I think nothing of it. However, if I”m driving down the street and see a purple cow, that is something worth mentioning. Weird things can hit people one of two ways: they really enjoy it or they are really repulsed by it. Either way, you have their attention.
2. Make it extreme – People talk about extreme things. This past week (June 15), Nik Wallenda, a high wire artist, became the first person to cross directly over Niagara Falls on a high wire. I’ve heard people mention it multiple times in numerous conversations. Why? Because it was extreme. It was dangerous. It was great.
3. Make it unique – People talk about unique things. If I go to the store to buy some eggs and as I’m looking through all the eggs to make a smart purchase, I come across a black egg. I would go home and tell my family about that one. When we make things unique and different, we are not only bettering our life and our product, but also the lives of the consumer. Life can become predictable and boring. Unique things make it more interesting.
4. Make it humorous – People talk about humorous things. What Super Bowl commercial do you remember? Other than the Chrysler-Eminem commercial, you simply remember the funny ones. What about comedians? Comedians are probably the most quoted people on the planet because their jokes are told over and over again by the average person parroting their jokes to their friends. People like and remember humor.
5. Make it beautiful – People talk about beautiful things. I’m talking about songs that can reach into the soul. I’m talking about pictures that make people weep with the beauty of it. I’m talking about the double rainbow video (if you’re not sure what that is, look it up on YouTube). People talk about their amazingly beautiful vacation in the Bahamas. Make it beautiful to make it remarkable.
Questions: What is the most remarkable thing you’ve ever seen?