Standing Out in a Mob

For eons we’ve been hearing about the crowded mental environment. The 4,000 ad messages we’re exposed to daily, the increasing number of responsibilities and decisions, the 300 emails, and five hours of meetings daily.

Let's face it, it’s more than just crowded. It’s deafening, raucous and pushy. It’s a mob. All this time, marketers thought that they just needed to sound different or be more relevant.

It turns out that being relevant and different isn’t enough.

Why? As this article, by behavioral researcher Paul Zak, points out, the reason that many businesses find it hard to get attention in the marketplace is that the act of paying attention is metabolically taxing for us humans. So we are pre-programmed to use it sparingly. So while there are plenty of relevant brand messages that sound different, we don’t have the mental capacity to notice them all. Not by a long shot.

The mob is entropy, so you have to be more than just different and relevant. Brands need to be offering people something more than a message or key differentiator. It’s not enough to be offering something of value. The WAY you offer it must be inherently valuable to the audience. Something truly meaningful. Because, let’s face it, while people are drowning in information, they are thirsting for meaning.

You may be speaking, but the audience isn’t listening. In order to attract their attention, marketers need to provide them with something they will love.

And as our next post will show you, what they love is storytelling.