Like everything in life there is Yin and Yang, we live in a world of duality, good and bad, right and wrong, black and white, right and left, rich and poor, all co-exist. Frankly it’s the same in marketing and sales, there’s good marketing and bad marketing and everything in between.
The same could be said for “hype” in marketing and sales, there’s good “hype” and there’s bad “hype”.
Let me explain…
“Hype” used ethically is MASSIVE ENTHUSIASM for your product or service, “hype” use unethically is LYING, MISLEADING OR PROMISING THINGS YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DELIVER.
Hence use as much “hype” as you possibly can, just always tell the truth.
“Hype” is short for “hyperbole”… which Encyclopaedia Britannica defines as… a figure of speech that is an intentional exaggeration for the emphasis or comic effect.
Wikipedia on the other hand says that “hype” is… a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated… and is not meant to be taken literally.
Examples like, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse”, obviously no one intends it, when that comment is made, that you are going to actually consume 400 kg of horse meat. I suspect that amount of protein will kill you.
Just as when someone says, “you’ve got a brain the size a pea”, again nobody really means you have a brain that small, just that you are behaving like someone who has a brain that small.
When Domino says, “piping hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or free” nobody really believes the pizza will be piping hot or will be delivered in exactly 30 minutes but it does convey the right message – in this case… with “hype” used ethically.
When a work boot manufacturer says, “the world most comfortable long lasting work boot guaranteed”, how do you even quantify or qualify that a work boot is the world’s most comfortable and long lasting? After all a competitor could make the same claim, I expect, in fact their argument may be their boot is more comfortable.
This is an example of “hype” used ethically based on the expectation of the market place.
On the subject of Domino, a client of mine sent me a very interesting article recently. It was published in Nyse Magazine Second Quarter 2010. It went on to explain that Domino had a new CEO and a new Pizza recipe because their survey of 33,000 people had shown that although they rated number 1 for service, they ranked last for taste and quality of product.
“They then set out to reverse this trend and spent 2 years completely remaking their core product. First, chefs tasted 50 different sauces, 10 different crust and dozens of cheese combinations.”
You see a survey of their clients revealed that “Domino’s pizza crust to me is like cardboard.” So effectively if you bought Domino’s pizza it was like buying two for one, you can eat the box or the pizza or both and there wouldn’t be much difference.
So instead of hiding from the elephant in the room, i.e., their pizza tasted like cardboard, they came out and admitted it and then painstakingly did something about it. This is a very smart move by Domino, instead of throwing a blanket over the elephant poo in the room which will still stink anyway; they actually made a damning admission and then fixed it.
No doubt to me this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that “hype” used ethically in marketing and sales (even though here a damning admission was made) is the right thing to do as long as you always tell the truth.
All the best,
Committed to Elevating the Financial Wealth and Wellbeing of Society
Through Entrepreneurial Excellence and Guilty of Conspiracy to Create Capitalism
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