DEMONSTRATIONS CAN DRAMATIZE THE DIFFERENCE
I saw my neighbor working outside this morning, and I struck up a conversation with him. He’s a retired nephrologist and a brilliant person. I learn something new every time we converse. This occasion was no different. He shared a compelling demonstration he remembered witnessing for Thorazine.
Thorazine is a brand name for chlorpromazine, a prescription drug used to treat Schizophrenia and Psychotic disorders. According to Wikipedia, chlorpromazine was labeled as one of the major advances in the history of psychiatry. However, Thorazine was subsequently voluntarily discontinued by Novartis because it caused severe cardiac arrhythmias.
Be that as it may, it does not detract from the compelling demonstration that dramatized the drug’s effectiveness in controlling severe behavioral problems. The demonstration did not feature people. Instead, it featured Betta fish, which made it even more dramatic.
Picture this: a small fishbowl—the kind you might have had as a child in your bedroom— with a single Betta fish in it. These fish are very aggressive and will attack each other. Therefore, one must keep them separated. However, the demonstrator adds a second Betta fish to the bowl, and the two immediately go at each other, fighting savagely. The demonstrator places a drop of Thorazine into the tank, and within seconds they peacefully swim around the tank. No more fighting. The dose of Thorazine altered their behavior.
Now, I’m getting this story second-hand from my neighbor. I could not find it on YouTube to confirm it or find anything about the demonstration. Nonetheless, my neighbor, a pioneer in nephrology, told me that the demonstration he clearly remembers convinced him that the drug is highly effective in controlling behavior problems.
Dramatizing the benefit not only helps target customers remember the benefit but realize it. It is one thing to say the benefit; it’s another to dramatize it. The dramatization helps target customers to connect with the brand and its benefit on an emotional level.
Demonstrations can be inherently dramatic. Amway uses its R&D not only for product development but to develop demonstrations. The goal is to demonstrate the “Amway difference” versus the same category and class of retail products.
Other brands have also used demonstrations to ignite target customer preference.
I recall a compelling demonstration highlighting Dove Beauty Bar’s mildness versus competitive soaps—”the litmus test.” The commercial starts by informing viewers that litmus paper turns blue when encountering alkalinity. The darker the blue, the more alkaline and, therefore, potentially harmful to the skin. Litmus paper is applied to various soaps—family, beauty and, even baby soap—all of which turn dark blue. However, when applied to Dove, it does not change color, revealing its neutral pH. It clearly demonstrates that Dove is milder than its competitors. See it for yourself:
If you want to compel target customers to choose your brand, dramatize the benefit. Demonstrations can make for compelling dramatizations.
Proposed Action(s) for Implementation (Crossing the chasm from learning to impact):
- Take note of compelling demonstrations – Familiarize yourself with demonstrations found in ads and life. Identify what makes them work so effectively.
- Request your R&D personnel to brainstorm potential demonstrations – The goal is to identify several options.
- Put them to the test – Test for impact on driving incremental sales and customer preference. If you’ve developed a “winner,” give it a go!
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Peace and best wishes,