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Newsletter #731: The “Make it Outrageous” Issue

{Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That Email Newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the left.}

Shake it up, go bigger, have some fun, and don't be afraid of getting outrageous to give your fans a reason to share.

   1> Make it bigger
   2> Make it goofy
   3> Make it last
   4> Check it out:

1> Make it bigger

Nothing says outrageous like making something oversized, supersized, or just plain gigantic. Trader Joe's sells a 10-pound candy bar. Had it been a normal size or had they simply called it "baking chocolate," nobody would have noticed. But making it huge guarantees people will give it a second look, take pictures of it, and tell their friends about it. You can add some creativity and some fresh word of mouth to your product line by adding a jumbo, for-fun version of something you already sell.

The Lesson: Put something on the shelf that people can't help but talk about.

2> Make it goofy

Adding an unnecessary, yet fun and goofy feature to your product or service line can be a great way to show your personality. Google and Facebook — in addition to traditional languages like French, German, and Spanish — offer the language setting of "Pirate." Google's "Sign out" link, for example, becomes "Catch th' outgoing tide" while Facebook's "News Feed" becomes the "Captain's Log." Some might see this as useless, but smart marketers know that just as it's more fun to work at a company people love to talk about, it's also more fun to talk about a company that has fun.

The Lesson: People don't share brand messages and boring features, but they will tell everyone about the funny product or service you offer.

3> Make it last

Take your cliche warranty or satisfaction guarantee and make it remarkable. Brikolor, a Swedish furniture company, guarantees its furniture for 300 years. Calling it a "lifetime warranty" wouldn't have been worth telling anyone about, but a 300-year warranty is unique (even though it's basically the same thing). If you've got a fantastic promise, guarantee, or policy, help spotlight it with a little creativity that doesn't require changing the fundamental premise behind it.

The Lesson: If you have the same warranties and guarantees as your competitors, nobody is telling their friends about it.

Learn More: Springwise

4> Check it out:

Can you name all the characters on The Simpsons? The top 20 U.S. newspapers? Every country in Africa? The NBA's all-time rebound leaders? You can find out pretty quickly at — an addictive little trivia site with a bunch of categories and games. Time-sink guaranteed.

Check it out: Sporcle

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  1. Ben F May 16, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    Hey, I found this article on Small Business Brief. This article is such a good idea. I never thought of why these companies do those crazy things, but it DOES make me want to talk about it. In fact, this post inspired me to write something pertaining to doing something outrageous to market a teen lawn service. I linked back to this post, and the URL is attached to my name.

  2. Dy Witt May 17, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    This is a great way to tell people that “My hand-painted tiles are guaranteed for 10,000 years!”
    Gold and ceramic are the reasons we understand our own history because they last virtually forever.

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