In this episode of Seinfeld on Marketing, we find the gang talking about George’s desperate attempt to zing a co-worker with just the right comeback after a rude comment was aimed at George during a staff meeting (George’s comeback is “Oh yea? Well, the jerk store called and they’re running out of you!” – in case you were playing along at home). Even though the co-worker has switched jobs, George still cannot let it go:
JERRY: You’re flying to Akron, just to zing a guy?
GEORGE: Don’t you understand? It’s not about him. To have a line as perfect as ‘jerk store’ and to never use it. I…I couldn’t live with myself.
ELAINE: See, there are no jerk stores. It…It’s just a little confusing is all.
GEORGE: It’s smart. It’s a smart line, and a smart crowd will appreciate it. And I’m not gonna dumb it down for some bonehead mass audience!
Sing it sister! Let’s give George a big hand – he finally got one right! The best way to communicate to your fans (whether they be your customers, church members or donors) is to focus on your “smart crowd” and not “dumb it down” for the masses. And we all know that in this over-communicated rock we call earth, you cannot reach everyone nor can you truly be remarkable and not offend some people along the way. Yeah, you might as well face it now – you are going to offend some people. Not in a Don Imus sort of way, but in a “you are not part of the club sort of way.”
Harley Davidson is not out to communicate to those not interested in dressing up and heading out on a weekend pilgramage. Starbucks is not trying to reach those just after some cheap brown liquid (or are they?). The Mini Cooper is not aiming to talk about its hip, small car with my grandmother’s canasta group.
Snack on these recent tasty nuggets from the Marking Guru, Seth Godin:
- “The more people you reach the more likely it is that you’re reaching the wrong people. (Who vs. how many).”
- ”The thing is, when you dumb stuff down, you know what you get? Dumb customers.”
- “The first thing I’d ask myself before launching a product, a service, or a candidate is, ‘who are we leaving out?’”
Super Terrific Happy Friday everyone!
This post is part of a weekly series, Seinfeld on Marketing.