It Takes Something Special to Standout

| April 3, 2014

Tips From Chip Harp Valdosta, GAEDITORIAL – I read about a hotel in New York, the Soho Grand, that provides its guests with a goldfish (for those who want them) upon arrival.

Interesting gesture, different and unexpected, and a bit odd, but it does stand out. In an era where people see up to 3,000 messages a day by some estimates, it takes something special to stand out. That’s worth remembering:  It’s the little things and the “magic” that defines the best marketing efforts.

Fabian Hieronimus talks about this in his article, Can a goldfish show you how to excite your customers? that takes a high level look at what it takes to excite your customers. He has a list of 10 of the best ways to excite your customers, with some good examples as well. Here are three:

  • Keep it simple. So many good ideas get lost in the implementation where complexity gums up the works. A look at the thickness of the manual that comes with so many products today attests to how ridiculous this has become. Good ideas are simple ones that people intuitively understand how to use.
  • Create mystique. Nothing builds interest like tickling a fancy without providing the complete picture. There are clearly plenty of examples where this backfires, but when it’s done well, it’s magical. Part of the mystique is often creating an aura of exclusivity. Some loyalty programs, for example, provide rewards that aren’t published to the outside world and are invitation only.
  • Be authentic. Nothing fails like being fake. Customers are increasingly sophisticated in spotting a fake when it comes to how a brand communicates with them. Robo-calls, spam, jargon-laced communications all undermine your relationship with your customers. In a world when presidents are on Twitter and customers post pictures of their purchases on Facebook, the need to be real is so important.

So, what can a goldfish teach us?  Marketing and reaching your customers effectively takes effort and ingenuity.

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