Do you remember what it was like to be in middle school? You know, the place where the “cool kids’ lunch table” started. Ah, yes, the cool kids’ lunch table. [insert flashback music here]
The only way you got to sit at the cool kids’ table was if the people that were already there found you interesting or popular enough that they wanted to be seen with you. Like it or not, we all wanted to sit there (even if we also hated its very existence).
But we’re adults now. The cool kids’ table is gone forever, right?
People of all ages like to look smart, funny, and in-the-know, so they talk about things that help them improve their image. And while there may not be a literal lunch table to sit at anymore, that doesn’t stop us from psychologically bellying up to it around our peers.
That’s because people want to be associated with things or ideas that make them look good rather than bad. Jonah Berger, in his book “Contagious- Why Things Catch On”, explains this concept as Social Currency. It’s the “S” in his 6 STEPPS principles for why things catch on.
So how can you build some social currency around your idea?
Imagine you were a company that made blenders… yep, kitchen blenders… how would you get potential customers excited about what you offered? Sounds like a tough one, huh? I mean how excited have you ever gotten about your blender (short of frozen margarita night at the local establishment)? So let’s look at how a real company, Blendtec, has attacked this.
To start, they began posting videos of a “Price Is Right” type game show called “Will It Blend” on YouTube. In these videos they take everyday ordinary, and sometimes extraordinary, items and place them in their blenders for destruction. Check out one of the many videos they posted to YouTube… one that has gotten almost 1,000,000 views at the time of this post… where they blend an iPhone. Yep, you read that right.
And is it working? Absolutely. People love to share the video with friends because it is funny and phenomenal, and people now associate high quality blenders with the Blendtec brand because they have seen it destroy things they would never stick in their own blenders. Even crazier… over 670,000 people subscribe to their video feed… meaning they are notified when new videos are posted and flock to the site to watch and share them.
Sounds pretty contagious to me.
Hey, Garçon! A round of frozen daiquiris for the cool kids table… and throw in a few of those fancy umbrellas.
Do you want to move your message from Common to Contagious? Keep an eye on future posts in this series as we delve into Berger’s 6 STEPPS to help things become popular.