Drinking water that has color additives and a lot of sugar and caffeine in it is a lot cooler than drinking plain water. We all know that.

But why do we shy away from ordering water in a restaurant? Why do we have such a positive image of Coca-Cola? Wherever you live in this world, there’s a large chance that you really like Coca-Cola, or at least don’t actively dislike it.

  • Your friends like Coca-Cola.
  • There’s no reason to dislike it.
  • So why wouldn’t you like it?

That’s called ‘marketing’, my friends.

It’s a pretty amazing achievement, becoming one of the largest companies in the world by essentially selling sugary water.

 

Let me ask you this:

What’s the difference between Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero?

Hint:

Ingredients of Diet Coke: Carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzonate, natural flavors, citric acid, caffeine.

Ingredients of Coca-Cola Zero: Carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, aspartame, potassium benzonate, natural flavors, potassium citrate, acesulfame potassium, caffeine.

They’re virtually the same. They have a slightly different taste which most people cannot even distinguish.

But most males wouldn’t even dream of ordering a Diet Coke at the bar, whilst ordering a Zero is no problem at all.

What the fuck, people? They’re exactly the same.

Try to see the bigger picture here. I know the marketing message of these two products are so engrained in our being that it’s hard to see through it. But try.

Coca-Cola Zero is marketed using commercials featuring a Bond-like hero, guns, explosions, fast cars and cool gadgets. Diet Coke is marketed using commercials featuring girls drinking Diet Coke while desiring the hot delivery guy.

Two products that are – all but marketing – exactly the fucking same.

We are being  royally, collectively brainfucked. And we don’t even care.

 

People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.  –  Zig Ziglar

 

Coca-Cola used numerous techniques to become a gigantic corporation over the last 100 years. But what worked 20 years ago does not necessarily work today.

With everything evolving so incredibly fast, here are some low-cost guerrilla marketing techniques that you can employ today. Test them out and tell me if they work for you… So you can royally brainfuck people with your ingenious marketing 🙂

 

1) Communication is Key. Be a friend. Do wonderful things for your clients. Go all out to make them happy.

 

The only way to have a friend is to be one.  –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Don’t be like most companies with their generic mails, lack of social media presence and horrible customer service. Although these companies are probably just as capable as the ones that do know how to market themselves, they don’t show their true selves. They mask their real identity behind a facade of fake grandeur and busywork.

Somehow these companies put their heads in the ground, they convinced themselves it’s not necessary to respond to their customers (whether fans or haters) because they’re too important, too big to fail.

WRONG.

Being ignored is the worst feeling in the world, and your clients will hate you for it. If you treat them with disrespect, they will shy away from your company and they will actively make sure their friends will NOT do business with you.

The benefits (free media exposure through social media or just plain old word of mouth) will far outweigh the little extra work you put in. Go the extra mile. When someone insults your company through Twitter, retort with a funny reply. Even when they’re being gigantic a-holes.

The social web is here and it’s real. And it can make or break your company in mere minutes.

 

Examples:

If you hire the right people, you might get some amazing PR results. But that’s not all. You also make the world a better place, and that’s worth more than marketing 🙂 Here’s Jackie from Krispy Kreme:

 

You can’t possibly show a more humble and human face. And that’s why the frontline, the people who actually have to deal with customers, are your most important asset. Treat them well 🙂

And then there’s Lily’s letter to Sainsbury’s: “Why is tiger bread called tiger bread? It should be called giraffe bread. Love from Lily Robinson age 3 and 1/2”. Chris from the Sainsbury’s customer service team actually wrote back that that’s a brilliant idea. He included a £3 gift card. A week later, Sainsbury’s actually changed the name of the bread. It’s these kinds of stories that go viral. It’s heartwarming, it’s unexpected and it’s the exact opposite of how we usually perceive companies (cold, ignorant, too big to respond).

 

2) Be quirky. Be outrageous.  Be human.

 

To me, business isn’t about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials. – Richard Branson

 

Show your true, quirky nature. Every person has its funny, remarkable characteristics. Use these in your advantage. As the CEO of a company – whether a large Behemoth or a recent startup, show who you are. Don’t be a dull meat-shell sorry-ass excuse of a life. Don’t ever stop laughing, joking around, making friends. Being a leader doesn’t mean stripping away all human emotions.

The return on investment on behaving this way is just too large to ignore. I know this sounds way too corporate, but I want to get this through the minds of those at the top, so they know what to do to capture our hearts. This can only make the world a better place.

‘Corporate’ is not a synonym for evil.

Examples:

Richard. Fucking. Branson. He’s the face of the Virgin Group, a conglomerate consisting of over 400 companies. And compared to a typical business tycoon, he couldn’t be more different.

Here’s a stunt he pulled off when British Airways couldn’t get the London Eye – which they sponsored – up. It’s things like this that win the crowd over.

ba-cant-get-it-up-richard-branson-virgin

 

Here’s Richard baring his ass to promote  Virgin Atlantic in Canada:

richard-branson-arse-ass-virgin

How the hell can he do this without his companies bombing? Well:

Fortunately we’re not a public company – we’re a private group of companies, and I can do what I want. – Richard Branson

 

And then there’s Elon Musk, who was the inspiration for Favreau’s depiction of genius billionaire Tony Stark in the movie Iron Man. Oh, and he also founded SpaceX (one of the first successful commercial space transport companies), co-founded Paypal and Tesla Motors. Needless to say, this guy’s a genius. And the best part: he’s incredibly human, funny and charismatic. He has ideas that seem completely alien and crazy to most of the population on earth. But more than anyone else, he knows what we need as a collective species. He pushes the human race forward. In a gentle way.

 

3) Sex sells. Sex will always sell.

I’m more offended when someone’s killed on television than when there’s something that’s sensuous or sexual. So what?  –  Calvin Klein

This one’s kind of a no-brainer, don’t you think? I included SEX in the title of this article to get you to click the link. I wish it was possible to include images in a title.

We’re animals. Animals wrapped in a thin layer of civilization. But still, animals. Beasts. Savages.

We need water, food, shelter and sex.

Examples:

Godaddy uses sexy ladies to get across their message. They know their demographic well:

godaddy-girls-mascot-sex-marketing

 

And of course there’s Calvin Klein.calvin-klein-sex-marketing

Axe is pretty good too.

axe-marketing-sexy

And then there are the ads that are sexual in nature, but of which the main marketing tool is provocation, not stimulation. Like American Apparel:

american-apparel-sexy-marketing-ad

 

4) Be an inspiration to others.

 

Win with your heart, not your head – win on emotion, not in logic; have a passion about what you do; nobody wants a boss , everybody wants a coach.  –  Art Williams

 

Everyone wants to be a winner. And when we see people that are successful, we feel successful.

We love inspirational videos. They give us this great fuzzy feeling. They let us think “The world ain’t all that bad” or “I can do this shit!”.

Marketeers know this. And they use it to their advantage.

 

Examples:

 

Matt’s quirky dancing video. Every time I watch it, I get goosebumps. And 45 million people with me.

It’s the music. It’s his smile. It’s that vague feeling of “Damn this is awesome. I want to travel the world!”

And of course, Stride chewing gum capitalized on this. They offered Matt money to go travel the world and make another video if they could put their brand name at the end of the video.

 

 

Nike’s commercial about failure with Michael Jordan, making me believe that failure is OK (and it is, it really is):

 

Apple’s Think Different, the most inspiring one-minute video I have ever seen. I don’t even care it’s an ad:

Nike’s video about the FuelBand, created by Casey Neistat, which, although it has an air of complete spontaneity, is probably a lot more engineered than we think:

 

5) Just be fucking funny.

Even if you don’t do anything else, hiring a funny, sociable person to do the social media thing or the regular PR thing will pay off bigtime. Hire someone who knows how to write and who isn’t afraid of some controversy.

 

Examples:

I’ll just leave it at this:

funny-marketing-jobsintown

 

 

All in all: do CRAZY stuff for your customers. Don’t be content with having “good” customer service. GOOD isn’t good enough! Go all out, whatever the price, whatever the hassle. It’s worth it. One ecstatic customer is worth more than 100 merely satisfied customers.

Now, my friends, go market the crap out of your business 🙂

And, as always, please share this article because for every person who does, I will eat one jar of Nutella.

Seriously. Do it.