Marketing To Crazy People.

Heeellllp, a long word!

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is a new kind of crazy for me. Hadn’t heard of it until just this morning. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is the irrational fear of (wait for it)…Long Words. Yes, you read right.Turns out that same feeling you get when you’re on stage to give a speech you’ve forgotten, seconds away from embarrassing yourself in front of important people, that’s what some people feel when they encounter a long word. I know, Laugh Out Loud right?

It’s a weird phobia, maybe not as weird as ‘Keanuphobia’ (the fear of Keanu Reeves) , but definitely way up there on the insane-ometer. Crazy people everywhere these days…which is a good thing…

For marketers anyway.

You see, to really do effective marketing, you’re going to have to realize that everyone is a different sort of crazy…but everyone is crazy. We like to think of ourselves as rational, objective homo-sapiens, but really, we’re not. Marketing is all about finding out what sort of crazy your market is (what irrational feelings dominate their lives, buying decisions, product preferences), and then re-reinforcing that crazy to sell them products.

  • Some people for example have been brainwashed into believing that a picture of a tick (Nike logo) on a piece of clothing makes it up to 10 times more valuable!
  • Some people believe it’s worth while to buy a car that costs 2 million dollars, just because no one else has it (How many nice cars could you buy from Zimoco for that much?)
  • Some people are happy to spend $140 MILLION dollars on a 50-year-old painting that looks like something my two-year old son would do with his crayons.
By Jackson Pollock

When you focus on just the facts of your product or service, you severely limit your influence because you’re asking people to think logically, uninfluenced by the emotion that would otherwise have led them to a buying decision.

  • Your job as an entrepreneur or marketing manager is to find out what sort of crazy you’re dealing with in your market.
  • Your job is to get people to develop emotional (and otherwise irrational) attachments and preferences for your product (also called branding).
  • Your job is to tell your market a story that matches their world view, their irrational way of reasoning their particular kind of crazy and show them how, from that perspective, buying your product makes perfect sense.

3 Replies to “Marketing To Crazy People.”

  1. This piece is good. It’s clear there is need to search into the psychology of the market but for new players in the supply chain, the very grip which established brands have makes it extremely difficult. The question is how does a market novice strike the right balance between portraying their brand as exclusive yet at the same time trying to undercut the established players by pricing competitively…isn’t this some sort of a dilemma?

    1. Hey there Tawanda, thanks mate. You know i think it’s a mistake for new businesses to think that the only way to penetrate a market is by being cheap. There are other ways – offering a superior service, targeting a niche within the market, even innovating to create hard differentiation. I’m not saying undercutting doesn’t work (it does sometimes), but you do have other options which should be considered especially if you’re hoping to build a brand around exclusivity.

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