the ceo magazine, marketing

When I ran my own agency, I knew that intrigue was crucial to getting a potential client involved, but if I failed to deliver something of substance, I would have never secured those clients, or I’d have soon lost them. And the key to delivering substance was research. Every time we pitched a company, we made bold claims, but they were always backed up by facts. The formula was simple enough: Ask the right question about the organization, provide an answer, and then provide a solution. We never made empty promises when approaching potential clients, and that’s why we landed—and kept—organizations like The Scotts Company, Carrier, and Benjamin Moore Paints. Intrigue got us a foot in the door, and when we walked through it, we had answers.

Intrigue becomes sustainable when the subject, the intrigue itself, is more interesting than the idea, hook or message. Unfortunately, too many businesses focus more on the message or hook—the intrigue—than on their brand and their purpose. What makes sustainable intrigue a powerful tool to help you connect with people in a meaningful way is that it has a payoff. When people ask me about why I have pink nail polish on my pinky, they may feel a variety of emotions about the story they hear. What they won’t feel is somehow let down by the storybehind the intrigue—the pink polish. That’s because the two are linked in a meaningful way that anyone can understand.  I’ve worn pink polish every day since I buried my two-year old granddaughter, over two years ago.  Pink was her favorite color.  My purpose is to raise awareness of the risks of household tip-over accidents.    

Part of sustainable success involves sustainable intrigue. These days lots of stuff gets your attention, but it doesn't make you care. As a result, it’s not sustainable. Be creative and feel free to be clever with your messaging. Just make sure you can back it up in a meaningful, sustainable way.

About the Author

A media savvy speaker and compelling leadership trainer, Scott Deming is also a veteran businessman, Board member, marketer and community volunteer. He has been changing company cultures for thirty years with his unique approach to critical thinking and value-driven branding. He speaks, trains and consults with the largest and smallest companies in the world, helping them to create cultures that matter and cultures that last. He is the founder and Chairman of Safe and Sound with Amaya, graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, has four children and lives with his wife Deborah in Syracuse, NY. He is also the author of the new book (Oct 2014) Powered by Purpose.


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