I have a friend named Yang and everything in his life is fine. For most, life has its ups and downs. But bad things never happen in Yang’s life. On the flip side, exciting things don’t either. He has a one word answer to a variety questions. Go ahead, ask Yang about his girlfriend, his job, his family, the new city he lives in, his week, his lunch… He’s very charismatic and could easily come up with a relevant anecdote but the response to all the questions listed is (she’s, it’s, they’re) “Fine”. Being able to reach the people who are ambivalent to your brand is what differentiates good enough from great marketing.
It clicked while eating another friend’s chutney. I’ve gone through a bottle in a week. It’s sweet and savory; it’s fantastic. But really, there’s only two reasons I would repeatedly buy the chutney: because I like the group of people making it or because the price is really, really low and it’s easy to buy. And my preference would be the former. Good marketing makes me feel a connection to things. The things made by companies that do good marketing are no longer just another product. If I can do something that makes Yang respond some way other than “fine” then I’ll have found a gold mine. One day he’ll say “wow, that’s really amazing.” And if he says that then everyone else will have been blown away as well. Here’s to marketing to the ambivalent.