Last night I watched two masterful debate performances by President Obama and Mitt Romney. Their command of the issues, and of the stage, was exemplary. It is estimated that more than 60 million Americans tuned in. Will it get either one of them more votes?
Two days earlier, Austrian skydiver and Red Bull stuntman, Felix Baumgartner broke the sound-barrier after jumping from a helium balloon 24 miles above the Earth. The stratospheric PR stunt was carried live by more than 40 television networks in 50 countries and was streamed by more than 130 digital outlets. And it was a boon for social networks as millions of users shared in the experience. Will it sell more cans of Red Bull?
A few days before Felix's dramatic fall to Earth, Jennifer Aniston appeared on Good Morning America where she announced, to millions of viewers, her new line of hair care products--a collaboration with MIT and a team of scientists from outside the beauty industry to develop hair products for women that employ patented techologies. Will that announcement sell bottles of Living Proof?
There's an on-going tension between the feeling mind and the thinking mind. The feeling mind is swayed by impassioned debate performaces, awe-inspiring human achievements, and beautiful, likeable celebrities.
But the thinking mind is the devil's advocate. It wonders about past promises and future expectations, product attributes like unique ingrediants and brand heritage, and both the purchase and use experiences (price, taste and performance).
I've written it before: There's a yin and a yang of every brand and every business. The yin is the water and earth, the substance of the offering, the "value."
The yang is the fire and air, the theater, how you bring that "value" to life in a vivid and compelling way.
If you're stuck, if your growth is stalled, you either have a yin problem or a yang problem.
If your current customers rave about you, if they pay a premium or go out of their way to experience your offering and tell their friends, but you're not growing, then you have a yang imbalance. It's time to jump up on a stage or out of a balloon, to invest in the performance of your offering, bold and creative approaches to both communicate and demonstrate your idea to more, like-minded people.
On the other hand, if you're experiencing pressure on your pricing, if customers view you as simply one of many options, it's time to team up with a bunch of scientists to strengthen your yin and refocus your energy on the utility of your brand, to weave in more distinctive value for your audience.
This yin-yang tension is real, and it’s being felt by many as brands continue to get pushed and pulled by the rapidly changing demands and preferences of the liberated and empowered masses. Don't sit passively and let the tension rip you apart. Do something.
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