Piss Them Off, Then Hug Them

By October 29, 2012Branding, Design & Your Site
Hurt them, Hug Them

What do those people have that you don’t? There they are, running those mega successful businesses online. And you? Where are you at?

We respond “well” to things that hurt our feelings or remind us of things we don’t like or are unhappy with.

But I know you’re busting your hump with your new venture. It’ll just take some know-how and elbow grease. There will be a moment when you look up and say “I’ve done it. It all looks amazing and works really beautifully. It finally generates the income I want!”

We then respond “well” to things that make us feel safe after we’ve been hurt.

And by “well”, I mean: we react, predictably and sometimes strongly.

Hand on hot stove? React.
Salve to make it better? Ahh.

Someone talking about where my new business is at? React.
I am offered a solution to growing or thriving it? Ahh.

A reaction is necessary when you are doing any kind of marketing, and a reaction happens when something we care about gets addressed.

And what do we care about?

All together now:
We care about OURselves and OUR problems!

(Altruists don’t be dismayed, we all have areas of our lives causing us some level of personal concern, and we want those issues resolved.)

Trigger us, then coddle us

The goods of branding and positioning lay not in the attempt of shoving yet ANOTHER idea into someone’s head.

That’s a terrific waste of time.

Let’s play a game.

Who are you voting for?
Can we chat about how your candidate is a complete tool?
You should vote for my guy.
Not voting? It’s really necessary.

Somehow I don’t think you’re open to negotiations on this topic.

But that’s actually the case with most topics!

Most of us have made our minds up about most things

Unless something crazy happens to change us, we’re not gonna.

It’s too much work and effort. We like where we are… until we don’t…

So instead of convincing anyone of anything, the smart brand triggers beliefs that are already in people’s heads. The smart brand wants to make people feel something, to tell them in so many words, “I understand where you’re at! I get your pain.”

And sometimes they do this by hurting your feelings to remind you that the pain is in there: “Feel fat in those jeans?” “Can’t find work that really fuels your soul?”

When I don’t fit into them jeans, when I worked at jobs I didn’t like, those headlines could make my stomach turn.

Because they trigger a feeling already IN my head.

Are we that predictable?

I began watching how I browsed sites with the desire to purchase something, and here are my core 3 wants:

  • To be understood
  • To be respected
  • To be taken care of

And then:

  • A simple web process that allowed me to purchase quickly and easily
  • The knowledge that if I had a problem, it would be handled

That’s it.

How do we connect genuinely?

The idea is not to be rude or a jerk. The idea is to speak to where people are, so even a “Worried those snow tires might not survive another winter?” gets you riled up if you’ve been thinking about changing your snow tires.

Notice that I’m NOT CHANGING YOUR MIND or convincing you of ANYTHING.

I’m simply accessing what’s already IN your head that wants to be heard. That’s it.

You’re so selfish!

Well we had to be some kind of selfish to evolve from cave dwellers to pavement walkers. It’s a survival skill (one of many).

I’m saying this because people don’t care about you and your site.

They care about themselves and the issue they’re trying to resolve at the moment, be it they want a good search engine to find the right coffee shop or a good lawyer to sue their business partner.

A desire is a desire, the difference being the level of pain they experience alongside that desire.

This just means that you have to speak to people about them and what they want.

So start by asking yourself:

What do they want?
What do they think they want?
What pain point is there already about the thing they want?

And then ask them about it.

Hopefully you have something that can help. Otherwise you’re just being a ____.

Or am I just nuts? What do you think?

You are loved.

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