Purple Cow is a book written by Seth Godin on the importance of being remarkable. This is a fairly high standard to reach for but he does offer some helpful tips along the way.
The first tip that jumped out to me was inviting the user to change their behaviour to make a product dramatically better. This is a tricky one as if Don Norman has tough us anything it’s that people don’t like change and if in doubt standardise. However, Norman has also addressed the elevator example provided by Godin. In The Design of Everyday Things, Norman refers to the destination-control elevator and describes many including himself as viewing the self-sorting elevator as a superior version of the standard elevator. Yet as with every change there were complaints. One bring, what if you get on and change your mind and want to go to a different floor. The solution is offered by Norman that you get off at the next stop and find the elevator that can take you to the right floor. This tells me that change takes time, it’s unlikely to be wholeheartedly adopted right away and therefore if you do require your user to change their behaviour the product must work dramatically better. If the improvement is only moderate it’s unlikely that a change forcing the user to change their behaviour will be well received.
Another point to consider when working on or developing a new product is how likely is that product to be remarkable. If the product is becoming irrelevant it’s probably time to move on to something new.
Great ideas that catch on quickly require something more, described as “sneezers” by Godin. Sneezers are the people that spread ideas. Sneezers aren’t just any people their the experts who tell their colleagues, friend and family about a new product on which they are a perceived authority. The problem is how to find sneezers. The starting point is not to make a product for everybody but to instead target a specific group. That way you are far more likely to be picked up by that group’s sneezers as you have less competition from competing products. Therefore when I’m creating a product I should define my target audience and market specifically to that audience. e.g. when I’m posting on my design page on social media I shouldn’t try to keep it general so everyone understands it. My design page is aimed at others interested in not only design but specifically UX design, therefore, it’s ok to get specific.
This point is reaffirmed later on in the book when differentiating your customers is addressed. The idea being figure out how to develop, advertise and reward your target group, be that sneezers or that group that’s most profitable. When you figure how to reach your target group stick with that don’t try to market to everybody.
Social storytelling is telling the story of your work. Storytelling on social media is about telling the story of your brand. It shouldn’t be used as only a tactic to sell services or products, this might cause it to come off as a gimmick which is not a good thing. Instead, the primary goal should be to let your audiences know what your brand is about, what its story is.
In a Medium post by TASK Marketing, the ingredients of good storytelling are:
- Protagonist- your brand is the protagonist. It needs to have personality, strength and flaws (this is where brand ideals and values kick in) It’s to keep your brand values growing and changing with you/ your company.
- Goal- your brand should have a goal. Consider internal and external. Consider the core objective of your brand is to grow and learn or to make more connections/leads? These are internal goals. These are important to keep in mind however to target your audience you need to consider their need external goals, what will they find interesting can you point them to a new resource.
- Development- This is really important in terms of keeping your brand story engaging. Showing progress and how you’re moving towards internal and external goals is one approach to this. In my case showing the development of projects or new skill sets is another.
Other factors to consider are using your brand ideals to represent your whole brand as Airbnb has done in this example.
Also as someone just starting out you have the opportunity to include your followers in your story from the beginning. Another method here is to include your audience in your content from the beginning by asking them what want and building up content around their feedback.
There is also the spoiler approach. This approach can be carried out by beginning the brand story by revealing what happens at the end. This is an interesting approach. It might be worthwhile testing the approach to see how effective it really is by posting projects with spoilers and projects without and finding out which is the most successful.