Polarize on Purpose
Quick! What’s Google Chrome best known for?
Everybody knows that Google Chrome is the fastest browser out there. But is this really true anymore? Depending on which side of the fence you sit there is no clear winner anymore in the browser speed race.
How comes that people still consistently think that Chrome is the fastest browser? Because Google executed extremely well on one of the fundamentals of marketing and communications:
You must, must, must be know for ONE thing. Otherwise you’re known for nothing.
The temptation is always to take all your amazing product features and tout them all. But people don’t work that way. People want to make clear decisions with little cognitive overhead. They want to know what you stand for and choose. Tell someone that your browser is fast and secure and has innovative features and is customizable and you have lost them. Tell them that you’re the fastest one out there and they can make a snap decision if this is important for them or not.
Polarize on Purpose.
Especially when you’re small you must find the one thing you want to be known for and push all your communications, your marketing, your product appearance toward this one thing. You want people to love or hate you — the worst thing which can happen to you is if people are indifferent about you. In the first cases they care about you, in the later they won’t. And if people don’t care — well, then you are done.
Let’s take this to the world of sport brands: Ask yourself — what does Nike stand for? I would argue that they are all about athletes. Real athletes. So if I want to feel like an athlete, I buy Nike. What does Puma stand for? Fashion. If I want to look cool while moving my backside, I wear Puma (or least I did — they have lost some of their mojo lately). What does Reebok stand for? I have no clue. And I would never buy their stuff. Why would I?
Bonus: Watch this video of Paula Radcliffe, world-record holder in the marathon for Nike and you get what I mean.