While sitting at a red light the other day, a landscaper caught my eye. He was using a power-edging tool on a long sidewalk in front of a church. He was moving along the sidewalk very quickly, almost running. It wasn’t that he was working quickly that really caught my eye; it was that he was really working with a great deal of enthusiasm. This young man was showing passion in his work.
Passion is an interesting metric when it comes to marketing. It is more than interesting; it is actually an essential element. If you are enthusiastic about what you are selling, then you will be much more effective at marketing it. Why? Because you see the point.
Okay, so passion may be much more obvious when it comes to marketing the cool consumer stuff like mobile apps, custom motorcycles and big screen TV’s. But what about all the other stuff out there like refrigerator gaskets, razor blades or lawn services? It takes a certain kind of person to be passionate about the mundane and the industrial.
I have a client who sells whistles used on large ships that are designed to prevent collisions. There is nothing sexy about this product but you would never know that talking to this guy. He is very, very passionate about them. Why? He was in the Navy and sees the reason for ships to have whistles. In his mind these things really are sexy because they save lives and material by preventing ships in harbors from colliding into each other. He is just like the landscaper who, for whatever reason, found passion in mowing lawns and edge trimming which might seem like a mundane activity or even a burden to others.
Every product and every service serves a purpose and provides a benefit to the user. In that purpose is the passion. Mobile apps and big screen TV’s are obvious. They are designed to look cool and they entertain us, which is fun. It’s easy to be passionate about fun, right? You have to look deeper to see the passion in razor blades and refrigerator gaskets. But razor blades help us look nice. Really good razor blades do it with out pain or injury. Gaskets prevent the cold air from leaking out of a refrigerator which keeps food fresh, saves energy and saves natural resources.
Passion is important. In the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins he identifies passion as one of the most important attributes of companies that have excelled to greatness, no matter what the industry or what the economic conditions. If you market for a living you need to have a passion for what you are selling. Passion doesn’t just help you see the benefit, but helps you “feel” the benefit. It makes your marketing honest and real. Sharing and communicating that passion will give the correct message to the right customer. In this age of social media, creating customers who will become engaged consumers is much more beneficial than selling something in the wrong way to someone who will end up being a dissatisfied customer.