This is how we, marketers, usually think: "Find out what they
want, give it to them nicely wrapped and with a big shiny smile, and let
the surveys show that they are satisfied." Good old Satisfying Marketing
… right? Well, not any more. Consistent data from all over the globe indicates
that even the most satisfied customers tend to keep an open mind towards
We live in the post customer loyalty era and… guess what?
Customers simply do not want to be loyal any more. Forsaking all other options
- is no longer an option. So yes, it is important to keep them satisfied
(otherwise they will be gone in a split second) but do not expect them to
So, what do you do? Get an alternative thinking cap. Electrifying
Marketing is the new marketing philosophy I want to offer you. Its roots
stem from the realization that marketing today is no longer about satisfying
unsatisfied needs. More often than not, it is about re-satisfying already
satisfied needs - with better, more exciting solutions. The major idea is
that you are not here to "please" anyone, but rather to tap into your target
consumers' needs in a new and surprising way, which is geared to eventually
become their future desires, while gaining a competitive advantage as a result.
The next question you will probably ask is - how? Following
you will find an outline of the ten central principles of Electrifying Marketing,
that constitute different ways to implement this new marketing approach.
Do Not Mess with Quality
First and foremost, you need a high quality product and service. Nothing
in the world will change this necessity. No marketing or branding "hocus
pocus" will cover for a poor product.
The Name of the Game is … Escapism
Create a differentiated benefit that takes your consumers beyond the borders
and boundaries of their normal lives into a bigger-than-life existence,
a world of fantasy, magic, and delirium. It isn't a coincidence that two
of the most successful literary works of the past few years were the Harry
Potter books and the Da Vinci Code.
Deliver a Shiver
Deliver a strong sensual or emotional experience for your consumers, which
will tap powerfully into one or more of their senses, or will evoke a strong
emotional response, such as fear, thrill, excitement, ecstasy, surprise,
or any other powerful emotion.
A wonderful example is the "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down" S&M and bondage party
that hurled a tsunami of press for Casio's then-new G-Shock watch, promising
it a must-have status in the influential fashion community of Manhattan.
The New York Post awarded Casio the Marketer Chutzpah of the Year Award
for its audacity, and evidently this shiver has managed to deliver 75 million
media impressions for the brand, all released during the first six months
of its existence.
Brake, Shake and Shatter
Display a rule-shattering, convention-breaking, routine-shaking, marketing-competitive
behavior. There are several ways of doing this. You can be any of the following:
o Expectation rockers - surprising
o Rebellious, subversive
o Mad, wacky
o Unreasonable, crazy
For example, the AxeFantasy promotional campaign in the UAE used specially
tailored jeans miniskirts to dress up mouse pads completely, in such a way
that in order to use the mouse, the user had to put his hand up the skirt
from its underside, simulating their wildest and sexiest dreams. Then they
placed this "creation" in Internet cafes. Not only did the effort drive
an unprecedented number of unique visitors to AxeFantasy's website, generating
hundreds of thousands of page views during the first month of this campaign,
but also, it seems that most of the mouse pads were stolen from the cafes.
Keep a Secret
Use a secretive or mysterious element such as a secret formula, mystery
people, something that nobody knows how it's done… or reveal a secret.
Coca-Cola's secret recipe is the classic.
More recently, "The Secret" constitutes a great example. This book/movie/phenomenon
was so successful because it claims to have revealed an ancient forgotten
secret to achieving limitless wealth and success, now outed to the whole
Play Hard to Get
Put deliberate and challenging limitations on availability or accessibility
of your product:
A limited number: the "now-or-never" factor (Zara)
A limited time, for example a special summer edition, or event-tied (Olympics
The "don't-call-us-we'll-call-you" approach. Some brands never give out
their contact information. If you want to talk to them you must first surrender
your own! (The Centurion unlimited credit card by Amex)
Engage Them in Some Activity
Trigger brand oriented involvement. Get your consumers actively involved
in some kind of activity, so that before they realize it they'll be engaged
in some game or type of interactive cooperation, dangling willingly on one
of your "consumer fishing hooks".
Take for example Rethink Breast Cancer, the Canadian charity which came
up with a new "Booby Wall" campaign, to raise breast cancer awareness.
Women can enter the Booby Booth website, perform a self-exam and take a
faceless photo of their breasts to post in the site, along with comments
or dedications to accompany their contribution to the Booby Wall.
Play and Have Fun
Playfully incorporate elements of fun and entertainment. When you do so,
do not take yourself too seriously, do not be heavy, and remember that,
hey, this is only marketing after all.
I love the Burger King candid camera campaign, which caught authentic surprised
and shocked reactions from people, when informed upon ordering that the
Whooper was no longer being served. Finally, the King himself comes to the
rescue with the desired whooper and everyone shares a laugh.
Be Delightfully Devious
Play around with your consumers - mislead them in some positive way (funny
and inoffensive), manipulate them, play a joke on them, do something which
appears to be one thing at first, but turns out to be something else.
For example, a billboard in LA and New York has gained a lot of attention
and buzz recently. The billboard reads: 'Hi Steven, Do I have your attention
now? I know all about her, you dirty, sneaky, immoral, unfaithful, poorly-endowed
slimeball. Everything's caught on tape. Your (soon-to-be-ex). P.S. I paid
for this billboard from OUR joint bank account.'
This billboard is actually part of a mystery ad campaign for a new cable
TV show, and it's delightfully playing with our naiveté - and fully catching
Give them Something to Talk About
Use a "viral" element: a Cool, a Twist or a Wow!, giving your consumers
conversation openers, scripts and lingos - starring your brand.
For example I would like to refer you to the new gun shaped fried-egg molds
from Urban Trend. Although in this particular case there might be a hidden
cholesterol joke, it seems that gun shaped objects are the new "now" - and
a great conversation booster.
Your third question, I'm guessing, will be - When? My answer
is - definitely now. Satisfying marketing is no longer a charged enough course
of action to bring you the results you need in order to gain market leadership.
From now on don't satisfy your customers - electrify them - results will