Mining “Shareable Gold”
In the age of information overload where everything is available and shareable at the altar of your computer, almost nothing seems new. “Word of mouth” has expanded to “word of click,” where a post can be shared by thousands of people in a matter of seconds. The proliferation of information and the competition to effectively disseminate it has become a frantic and quirky race to win over consumers before the other guy gets to them first.
With the constant flow of content racing nonstop through the Internet, consumers are looking for that “WOW” factor and businesses are scrambling to“one up” one another to stand out. Creative content delivery – or shareable gold – is the name of the game. In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, singer/songwriter Taylor Swift discusses what it is like to be an artist in today’s world and how status is affected by recent technological innovations. Today’s fans are more apt to pose for a selfie with the star versus asking for her autograph. Fans want shareable content and visual stimulation, and they want it now. This continual yearning for visual gratification means that artists (among all other industries) must act. Fast. “We want to be caught off guard, delighted, left in awe,” Swift says. “I hope the next generation’s artists will continue to think of inventive ways of keeping their audiences on their toes, as challenging as that may be.” Knowing that her fans have likely already seen her performance online before going into a show, Swift brings in a surprise guest on each of her tour stops to infuse the live experience with something extra.
The music industry is not the only business focused on creatively engaging its fans. No matter the field, success depends on the ability to attract and maintain dedicated followers amidst an overwhelming and constant flow of information. Brands and businesses that stand out are those that use a creative edge to reach the exhausted and overstimulated modern consumer. Take a look at this interview by Complex Magazine with musician/entrepreneur Pharrell Williams. The graphic design throughout the article is so visually compelling that the reader anxiously rushes on to see what comes next. It is creative, it is engaging and it is original – in essence, shareable gold.
Creativity does not have to be wrapped in bells and whistles – it can be just as effective by relying on familiarity and simplicity. This interview that Wine Consumer Magazine orchestrated with client Truchard Vineyards’ Anthony Truchard uses a fresh format that ingenuously mimics the ubiquitous iPhone messaging template. By conducting the interview by “iPhone message,” the magazine connects Truchard with readers in a personal – and familiar – format that is entrenched in their everyday lives and mimics a virtual conversation with a friend via iPhone.
Whatever touches a company uses to draw in its audience, it is important to remain energetic, playful and authentic. In today’s technology-infused fairy tale, everyone is looking to be swept off their feet.