Sunday, July 24, 2005

Appealing to Human Potential as a Marketing Principle

Hugh MacLeod at gapingvoid.com delves deep into the human psyche and applies it to branding.

We humans want to believe in our own species. And we want people, companies and products in our lives that make it easier to do so. That is human nature.

Product benefit doesn't excite us. Belief in humanity and human potential excites us.

Think less about what your product does, and think more about human potential.

What statement about humanity does your product make?

The bigger the statement, the bigger the idea, the bigger your brand will become.

It’s no longer just enough for people to believe that your product does what it says on the label. They want to believe in you and what you do. And they’ll go elsewhere if they don’t.

It’s not enough for the customer to love your product. They have to love your proccess as well.

People are not just getting more demanding as consumers, they are getting more demanding as spiritual entities. Branding is a spiritual exercise. These are The New Realities, this is the Spiritual Republic we now live in.

The soul cannot be outsourced. Either get with the program or hire a consultant in Extinction Management. No vision, no business. Your life from now on pivots squarely on your vision of human potential.

I just love Hugh's insistence that spiritual transcendence should become a functioning marketing principle. How wonderful would it be if every time someone tried to get us to buy something, they appealed to our higher selves? What if the Enrons and Tycos of our recent history became distant object lessons, replaced by corporations full of transparent integrity and commitment to the higher good?

Of course, your better people have always done this. The more spiritually evolved naturally work from a place of integrity and apply it to every aspect of their lives. These people are also highly attractive because they appeal to what is whole and wholesome within.

That said, I don't think transcendence will be a universally demanding marketing principle for quite some time. That's because people are so very human: often self-centered, shallow, materialistic, greedy and opportunistic.

In fact, the Pareto Law is probably at work here as in everything else. That's the 80/20 rule, where 20 percent of any given group delivers 80 percent of the goods.

For the sake of argument, let's say that 20 percent of marketing folks will be responsible for 80 percent of the vision, at least for the time being. What happens to the other 80 percent? Will they go the way of the dodo as Hugh suggests? Or will they continue to ply their trade, seduced by human nature into shining big honking spotlights on the good stuff and burying the nasty side effects in six point type because that tends to work pretty well?

Or will they learn to manipulate things so they appear to have passion, integrity and wisdom? I don't know the answer, but it's an interesting question.

I think Hugh MacLeod is on the growing tip. His advice is quite good, even if most of of the world has some serious evolving to do to catch up. Appealing to what is whole, wholesome and genuine is not only a much more resonant way to have conversations with the people you hope will buy the very good thing you are selling, but it is a much more satisfying way to make a living.

Do we then become something other than a slave? Or are we just chained to a higher master?


1 comment:

hugh said...

Heh. Waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. As if doing that for even five minutes could ever be considered a productive way to spend one's time.

Thanks for the kind mention =)

Hugh MacLeod