October 5, 2004

Yahoo! News – Porn Star Hits It Big as Bestselling Writer

I point to this article not as an endorsement (nor lack of endorsement — my opinions are irrelevant here) but as a lesson.

Anyone can be a star in America. Anyone can have a bestselling book. And, this is really not a new phenomenon at all. Americans have long been obsessed with scandalous behavior, with celebrity, and with any rags to riches story.

As marketers, we always need to think about what will engage our audiences’ imagination and make them buy our product (in the end, all that matters is that someone buy something). From the most trivial consumer product to the most complex technology, the things that resonate with the target audience go far beyond the simple features and benefits. In fact, I will propose that features and benefits are often the least important components.

Think about how to capture something inside your audience that your competitors fail to understand. Think about how to tap into their rebellious spirit (cf. Harley-Davidson), their need to be seen as sophisticated (cf. any high-end vodka), or their need to be accepted (cf. any political party). Examine your targets through new lenses and don’t just see them as more consumers of your widget. They are people and people have egos. Play to the ego.

BTW, I have just finished reading Jenna’s book and it is really terrific.


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