Finding the WOW Factor

Imagine if you had some magical warning sound that alerted you before you made a misjudgment or a social faux pas.  You know, like you’re about to bet on a bad hand and, HONK!, so you pull back your bet just in time.  Or you’re about to give a future employer one of those cool “street” handshakes and, HONK!”, you think better of it. There’s a clever commercial for the Nissan Altima that plays out this funny notion as it promotes a cool new feature on the car: a warning honk that alerts you before you over-inflate your tires.

Now admittedly, we’ve all managed this long without the benefit of an automatic over-inflation warning, but still, it’s pretty cool. And it dramatizes a point that as a marketer you should be asking yourself:  What’s the cool feature you have to sell?  What do you produce, offer or do that excites your audience and makes them think “Wow!”

This is a pretty ho-hum world we live in and we’ve all seen ads, commercials, websites and Facebook pages up the wazoo.  So the challenge of breaking through today means finding the one or two out-of-the-ordinary things people don’t expect or don’t know about you that fascinates them. We all know that to be the all important  “Wow Factor.”

In your specific industry, you already know what the baseline of expectations is (quality product, made from quality materials/ingredients, great customer service, affordable prices).  That’s just the opening ante that anyone in your business must provide.  But where is the Wow that you alone can talk about?  That one thing, or series of things, that is not merely unique but deserves an exclamation point in the eyes of your customer.

In books such as Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service, or Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, the authors write about the need to be remarkable or else become invisible.  In your marketing, the same rule applies, that you must find the Wow Factor and express it in a fresh and unexpected manner so that it excites the audience and sets you in a league all your own. That way, it grabs people’s attention and has them focusing on the message and not thinking about the other stuff that might come into their minds. They’re engaged…captivated.

In doing so, you start connecting with your audience on a more intimate level, and that better allows you to persuade them, get them to trust you, get them to believe you,  and get them to want to buy from you. So when your competitor tries to pull them away, they’ll stay loyal to you.

Back to the example of the Nissan Altima, the commercial demonstrates that promoting one small but really interesting feature is better than loads of features or bland generalities.  That nugget of marketing gold for you might exist in one “small” aspect of your operation  but demonstrates everything holographically about the way you do business.  Whether it’s some unique characteristic about the what makes up the product (i.e., it doesn’t rust…even when submerged in salt water) or a particular service that you alone are offering (i.e., you’ll return every inquiry within 2 hours), it just needs to be a Wow.  Anything short of Wow, whatever it is, will be background noise and nothing more.  And if it’s a Wow, no matter how small it is, your marketing can make it big.

It’s time to do some corporate detective work and discover – or develop – your own Wow Factor.

And hey, did I mention the marketing director’s daughter who (HONK!!!!) … oh, never mind.

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