How do you turn a great product or service in to a "cool" one? It is an age old problem … and we can often ask can you MAKE something cool or is there something about "coolness" that just IS? (I am happy for ANYONE to answer this question!)
Actually, it also strikes me that for something to be "cool" there is no prerequisite of quality. For example, I have owned cool motorbikes but they have been questionable on a number of other fronts — reliability, safety etc. But there is no doubt that they were cool. Harley Davidson is another great example in this space … they are difficult to handle, weigh a ton and (until fairly recently) have been plagued with reliability problems. But they stand triumphant at the pinnacle of cool.
What I love about Jeremy Gutsche’s (TrendHunter.com) presentation on Slideshare is the way that he unpacks "cool". He cites Rule #1 — Relentlessly Obsess About Your Story.
My thinking is that there is ONLY this one rule. This means — keeping the message simple, hitting hard with the title and capturing "cool" … making your story a "must tell". By way of example, Jeremy talks about a very expensive hamburger with two outcomes:
- Good positioning — "the world’s most expensive hamburger"
- Viral positioning — "the $5000 hamburger"
Of course, it is not so simple … as you can see from the presentation. There is a challenge that must be mounted at a number of levels. "Cool" places innovation at the centre of the product development lifecycle — and we all know how difficult true innovation can be to achieve. But STORY INNOVATION is a relatively cheap way to test and drive your market. You can start small and grow it. You can employ social media and cheap widgets to kick start your efforts. And you can do it from your bedroom or your home office. Sure you need a product … but that is just the beginning … the hard work comes at "storytime". And for that, all you need is your imagination.
Quick test — Look to the right of your computer screen. What is the first thing you see? Write FIVE WORDS describing the TREND that delivered this item into your life. Quick. Don’t think. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Time’s up.
Quick check — Do your five words capture the emotion and personal journey of the item? If so, great … you win the chance to guest blog here. Drop me an email and tell me your story!