The most super of heroes is the one that can make another hero feel super.
Stop selling your audience and start empowering instead. When someone feels they’ve discovered a new part of themselves — sales are a natural next step.
This morning, after many attempts, my friend Aaron finally convinced me to go with him to the ‘Traveling Rings‘ on the beach. Having been addicted to other masochistic sports like rock climbing, it took me about ten minutes to fall in love the activity.
For context, this has been Arron’s profile photo since the day we met.
Despite an irreverent friendship incapable of a serious discussion, Aaron was a fantastic coach and managed to coach me down and back on my third try… ever. I posted videos on Snapchat (brianswichkow) including Aaron’s airborne badassery.
While it looks easy, the Traveling Rings are immensely challenging and require a great deal of body control. Seeing us swinging like Tarzan, two burly looking Australian tourists came over to try it out — neither could complete a trip.
Aaron is a bit of a knucklehead and I love him for it, but this morning’s events showed him in a whole new light. With the most genuine enthusiasm and praise, he had made me feel far more capable than I (logically) know that I am… right now.
The emotional support Aaron provided made an emotional connection.
Yesterday I talked about the radical power of ‘empowerment marketing‘ and what Aaron was doing with me on the rings was no different. By providing support while facing a new challenge, I developed a connection with the rings… and with Aaron.
To further illustrate how this looks when a brand is the one doing it, take a look at the 30-second Super Bowl commercial that Pokémon spent $5 Million to air.
“I can do that.” — “We can do this.” — “You can do that.”
I get shivers in my spine every time I watch that commercial. You almost forget that they’re selling a fucking video game. This also reminded me of my favorite Nike ad.
At one point, while helping me tighten my grips, Aaron said “it’s like hockey skates, if you can feel your toes — your laces aren’t tight enough.” Already thinking about how empowered I felt with his coaching, his comment reminded me of the astounding videos that resulted from the new partnership between GoPro and the NHL.
This video, as well as the one that preceded it, gives the audience an insiders perspective with unparalleled intimacy. Hockey pucks move so fast in the NHL that the cameras covering the games can’t do justice to display the skills of the players.
Everything about these videos, from the script to the editing, is intentionally engineered to make those that view them feel the emotion of the environment.
Pokémon didn’t say “buy our game”
Nike didn’t say “buy our shoes.”
NHL didn’t say “buy our tickets.”
These brands made you feel connected, empowered, and energized. Making a purchase is the next logical step, but it’s a decision that you get to make.
Said simply, there’s more power in connecting than there is in convincing.
When was the last time a brand forged a connection with you?
How could you forge a similar connection with your audience?