When people talk about creativity and ideas, they normally talk about "what" and "how".
"This laptop has new features A, B, and C - which is why it's special."
"That car get better gas millage through it's XYZ special process."
"This idea is so fantastic because we combined the expertise of AB with YZ... and look at the amazing combination that we came up with!"
A lot of times, it seems that we get so caught up in the fancy features of our ideas that we forget a pretty important part of innovation... getting people to actually want it!
For that reason, I'm definitely a fan of a new book called Conversational Capital because instead of just talking about how to get an idea, Conversational Capital focuses on how to make a new idea something people want to talk about.
As much as I'd love to believe amazing ideas will become instant successes all on their own, I know that's not true.
Great ideas fail all the time, in fact. And, mediocre or down-right-ridiculous ideas succeed all the time.
Often, the determining factor is that the not-so-amazing idea got people talking about it... and the amazing idea didn't.
So, I love how Conversational Capital talks about designing a new product or service with marketing in mind. I think this makes a lot of sense: there's no point in investing a lot of time/money in a new idea - only to have to slap some marketing polish on it afterward and hope for good results.
The part that really makes this book helpful is that the authors don't leave us hanging in the dark about how to make conversations happen. They share 8 different ways to make an experience extraordinary so that customers want to talk about it.
My three favorites are:
Continuity - Making an effort to be exactly who you say you are. (So if you saw your airline gives the best flying experience, you do!) This seems like a "duh" point, but so many companies make empty claims that the companies who actually do what they say stand out.
Tribalism - This is about building passionate communities. Think Apple, or Harley-Davidson. Those people really care about a brand, and become proud ambassadors for it.
Relevant Sensory Oddity - About presenting the senses (not just the eyes) with such a unique experience that people want to talk about it. Like the Volkswagen Beetles' unique shape, or Abercrombie & Fitch's loud, dimly-lit stores.
Not all the conversation-starting suggestions will work for all ideas, but even incorporating one or two of them into your new product or service will make it stand out.
I like this book because it challenges people to change how they think when they're coming up with ideas. Most creativity books focus on the idea process, while most marketing books focus only on marketing a new product or service.
Conversational Capital does a good job combining the two. For that, it's definitely worth reading!
Buy it now on Amazon.