Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Stand Out from the Crowd: A Marketing Lesson from Zorro

In my other (new and equally remarkable!) blog, Philly Sports Quest, I referenced a story about a Phillies game I went to about 10 years ago at the late, great Veterans Stadium. To summarize, the gist of the story pertained to a rather unusual guy who dressed in an outfit that looked like Zorro and walked by himself around the circular walkway the entire game. I, along with many others, was thoroughly impressed by the fact that he would have the idea and the wherewithall to pull off this mini-stunt, so my friends and I and other fans around us cheered for him every time he walked by.

Well, in my humble opinion, having worked in marketing for a couple of years, I must say that that's some excellent marketing right there.

Generally the way marketing works is a person/company/organization tries to find a way to interrupt a person's day with a brief message about said person/company/organization in order to encourage you to do business with same person/company/organization. You, as an innocent bystander (aka- target audience), didn't necessarily ask for that message to be brought into your life, but for a brief moment... there it is. You can choose to either tune it out or act upon it in some way. And so marketing is measured in how many people act upon your message. But I digress.

Getting back to Zorro... this guy interrupted the game I was watching by walking in front of me and catching my attention, multiple times during the game. Thousands of other people undoubtedly walked in front of me that game, but I have no recollection of any of them. Only Zorro. And that was roughly 10 years ago. He found a way to stand out from the "clutter" of other "interruptions", and leave an indellible mark in my memory. He even found a way to grow his own fan base-- the ultimate mark of a successful brand. And he did all this without a massive budget, or even having to say a word, or brandish a word or logo on his body.

That's how you market right there.

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