For businesses (small businesses especially) the impact of advertising in newspapers, magazines and outdoor media is fading. People are overwhelmed with information and are slowly learning to tune out traditional ads. But, wait there is great news! People don’t tune out the recommendations of their peers, friends, and network.
In fact while consumers can:
- skip your ads with on-demand
- listen to podcasts without ads
- fast forward through ads
- send your email to the spam box
- turn the channel on your ad
- avoid your call and
- toss your flyer.
They don’t ignore their friends. Research has shown that 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations. The word-of-mouth of customers will make a new book a best seller, turn a “independent film” into a box office hit, have a waiting list at a restaurant or have parents lining up at toy stores to buy that limited edition. And word-of-mouth will help you sell your products and services—if you know how to create it.
Remarkable is where is starts. Remarkable means something worth making a remark about. It’s about building things into your product or service that are worth talking about. Not about adding marketing or hype to your product or service at the last-minute, but understanding that if what you’re offering isn’t remarkable, its invisible.
If someone chooses to talk about your product or service, I then call that a “referable experience” because that’s what we share, our experiences with a product or service. How it made us feel? Every experience that makes a customer excited to talk about you has some combination of the following ten elements:
- Surprise—a referable experience always exceeds our expectations.
- Anticipation—anticipating a referable experience is almost as good as the experience itself. As you think about it, you begin to get present to it.
- Resonance—a referable experience touches the heart. It resonates at a deep level. It sometimes causes goosebumps or even tears.
- Transcendence—a referable experience connects you to something transcendent. Suddenly, you experience purpose, or meaning.
- Clarity—a referable experience creates a moment when you see things with more clarity than ever before. You suddenly “get it” in a new way. (This is my favorite)
- Presence—a referable experience creates timelessness. You aren’t thinking about the past. You’re not even thinking about the future. Instead, you are fully present to what is happening now.
- Universality—a referable experience is nearly universal. Almost everyone will experience it in a similar way.
- Evangelism—a referable experience has to be shared. You can’t contain it. You immediately begin thinking of all the people you wish were with you.
- Longevity—the shine never wears off a referable experience. You can experience it again and again without growing tired of it.
- Privilege—a referable experience makes you proud in a good way. You feel good about being associated with it. You feel privileged, as if you are in an elite group.
These ten elements are included in your effort to make good on what you promise and what you deliver.
I recently visited a restaurant that had this promise, “The Coldest Draught Beer In Town!”. Now there’s a few elements at work here. First, is the anticipation of downing not just a cold beer, but the coldest draught beer in town. Secondly, if they deliver on their promise you’re going to tell your friends about the coldest draught beer in town and that is the element of evangelism.
Question: What element(s) does your product or service have?