Throughout America there are thousands of board certified psychologists who bristle at the sound of his name: Dr. Phil. Fewer, but a great many still feel the same about Dr. Laura Schlessinger and her popular radio program. Then there is Simon Cowell and his love – hate relationship with the American public.
What these individuals all have in common …
Here’s what typically happens when someone engages these folks:
They get smacked with harsh, strong opinion with streams of logic and brutal questions that are very hard for the person with the problem to answer. Not because the answer if difficult but because the answer is difficult to admit.
Why on earth would people subject themselves to such an “in your face” confrontation and how is it possible that they don’t know what the saucy celebrity is going to tell them? They get pummeled and yet they keep coming back and they bring their friends with them.
So what can we learn about marketing from these people?
People don’t like milky, soft, moderate messages. Bold messages attract in mass and consumers are willing to embrace and give loyalty to a brand or person who is demonstrating some real guts.
First, we should ask ourselves: “Is my message floaty in an effort to not offend? Am I trying to appeal to the masses by not making waves?
Next, we should ask: How can I make my marketing message more focused and gutsy? What will scratch the sensibilities of my target market and make them choose sides? How to I encourage them to choose my side over my competition?
Simon Cowell tells the truth as he sees it. Let’s be honest, American Idol would not be what it is today had not he been there from the start. It was Cowell who was willing to deliver truth in a fantastically brutal way. It was his gruff and honest personality that caused the attraction. It was Cowell who launched Idol into a iconic state of entertainment media and subsequently made the careers of some pretty successful artists.
Dr. Phil has made millions of dollars calling stupid people stupid right to their face and then offering some help for them to become less stupid.
When Dr. Laura Schlessinger answers the question of a troubled caller, you can almost predict the words she is going to say but they still call and they never argue.
People in general know the truth, they are looking for someone to state it as if it is truth. If truth is really truth, it deserves some passion. It requires that we take a stand to defend it. This is so attractive to consumers that they flock to associate themselves with the brand that is finally able to deliver it.
What is the truth of your industry and how can you capitalize on it’s truth-ness?!