Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Ultimate Product Demo

Q: What's one of the most coveted outcomes for effective marketing?

A: The amount of buzz it generates.

  • Buzz = people talking.

  • Good buzz = people talking favorably and remembering what your product/service is called, generating priceless mindshare and name recognition.

  • Great buzz = increase in sales.

Let's take a quick look at a bold marketing demonstration and analyze what elements can be used in our businesses.

The company is Caballero, named after its founder. They make bullet proof clothing. No, not bulky SWAT flack jackets, but rather stylish bullet proof trench coats that unpopular diplomats can wear out to dinner.

Miguel Caballero does a brief, but dramatic demonstation for the Business 2.0 writer who has traveled to Bogata, Columbia to cover the story. He points to a new store employee and instructs him to don a Caballero suade winter jacket. Then he takes aim with his .38 caliber handgun, smiles, and shoots at his staffer at point blank range. BAM! The staffer relief that the clothing has stopped the bullet.

Now, if you're a potential customer, do you need any further convincing? Didn't think so. They're reaching for their credit cards, not for a brochure.

With a demo like this, do you think Caballero needs to hire a PR firm? Nah, he'll put the money he saved into more bullets for demos.

OK, so you know this would be a good thing to have for your business, but your firm isn't as flashy as bullet proof clothing (with style).

First, let's identify what makes this a killer demo. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

  • It's memorable. Definitely something to talk about at dinner that night.
  • It's got real skin in the game. A life is at risk.
  • It's emotional. You worry that the poor sales clerk will die in a foolish, freak accident, then feel relieved that he lived.

Let's stop there, because if you get these three elements you'll be well on your way to a demo that generates great buzz.

This example bowls over the carefully scripted television infomercials where the audience gasps when the grass/oil/ink stain is removed from the volunteer's white shirt. It's compressed that whole sales cycle into 2 minutes. That's part of what makes it so powerful.

What great product demos have you seen lately? Share links, even if it's to your own site.

When we all learn to do this, we'll be building a stronger business on a whole new level.

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