Domino’s 30-minute guaranteed delivery is remarkable. iPod’s Click wheel and it's easy to use interface is remarkable. The remarkability of the iTunes store was the availability of a song for 99 cents. Aeron chair’s skeletal structure and ergonomics were remarkable.
Jonah Berger in his book ‘Contagious’ writes ‘Remarkable things are defined as unusual, extraordinary, or worthy of notice or attention, novel, surprising, or just plain interesting. They are worthy of remark.’
Claude C. Hopkins (1866–1932) was one of the greatest advertising pioneers. He showed many companies how to sell their products. He was famous for building the habit of ‘brushing’ the teeth daily, among millions of people through ‘Pepsodent’ ads.
Once, H.P.Crowell, of ‘The Quaker Oats Company’ approached Claude Hopkins as he was struggling to sell a couple of his products, ‘Puffed Rice’ and ‘Wheatberries’. Every expert advised him to drop the products from his catalogue as selling them would be infeasible.
Hopkins did detailed research. He was looking for some remarkability that could be used to promote the product. Remarkability, that could arise curiosity in a consumer’s mind- Something out of ordinary, unusual, interesting and worthy of attention by consumers.
During the research, Hopkins learnt how Professor Anderson accidentally discovered ‘puffed’ grains. He studied the process of making the puffed grains. He saw how every food cell was exploded resulting in the multiplication of grains to eight times normal size. He saw how every atom was made available for consumption.
Hopkins was ‘astonished’ to see grains being shot from the guns while making puffed grains. And then… the ‘light’ blinked in his mind — The Remarkability — Shot from the gun! — He coined the phrase “Food shot from the gun”. He was sure that this phrase would arouse curiosity.
He saw a couple of other remarkable things — Magnified size and Professor A P Anderson.
PERSONALITIES — Hopkins believed that personalities appeal more than the company name. It provides authenticity. He was of the opinion that consumers consider companies as soul-less. He firmly believed that if you make a man famous, then you would be making his creation famous. He decided to use Professor A P Anderson in his advertisements.
Hopkins’ advertisement focused on those three Inner ‘Remarkabilities’ — Shot From The Gun, Magnification, Personality.
Hopkins thus transformed the fate of the Quaker Oats Company. He was a pioneer in ‘Viral Marketing’ by targeting the ‘remarkability’ factor.
Jonah Berger in his book ‘Contagious’ talks about the success of ‘Blendtec’ blenders.
Till 2006, despite having good quality products, Blendtec was struggling to sell and had poor brand awareness. Then, one day, Blendtec founder Tom Dickson hired George Wright as Marketing Director. On his first day, George noticed a pile of dust on the floor of the manufacturing plant. He enquired and found out that to check the durability and power of Blendtec blenders, Tom would put two-by-two wooden boards into the blenders and grind them. Hence the sawdust.
It gave George an idea -He put marbles, golf balls and a rake inside the blender and asked Tom to grind them in front of the camera. The blender was amazing -it ground everything to dust. George was fascinated by Blender’s remarkability.
Before beginning to grind, George asked Tom to wear a white lab coat while in front of the camera. Why lab coat? Personality appeal, the authenticity of laboratory scientist(Like Professor Anderson in Claude’s advertisement) and exploitation of Authority bias.
George posted the ‘blending’ videos online and shared them. People loved those videos. They were fascinated by the blender’s power. They loved it. The videos aroused the curiosity -People wondered what else the Blendtec could grind? Tom went on to blend everything from Bic lighters to Nintendo Wii controllers to iPhone.
Within two years, blender sales grew by 700 per cent.
Is there something remarkable, unusual, extraordinary, or worthy of attention in your product or service that would arise curiosity in your customers?
References: Images from Vintageadbrowser.com, Periodpaper.com, Scientific Advertising by Claude C Hopkins, Contagious by Jonah Berger.
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