Brands for Humanity: Those that give, get it.

I’ve always believed that when you give your fans a gift without expecting anything in return (a sale, a Like, a Tweet, etc) they become endeared to you forever. The psychology of a sale never happens instantly, so you just have to be an ear worm until they’re ready to buy. And to be an ear worm means you have to be interesting, to even gain access to the ears in the first place.

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The Cards Against Humanity Black Friday Amazon ad

My favorite game is “Cards Against Humanity”. For those of you who haven’t played, think of “Apples to Apples” but authored by a group of smart, witty college guys in a topless gentleman’s club after a 6-pack of beer. SO-DELICIOUSLY-INAPPROPRIATE. It will have you laughing with liquid streaming out of most orophi if you play it with the right people. Being somewhat of a new game, and without the huge budgets to market itself during the holiday season, the CAH team did something unexpected this past Black Friday. Knowing it would be competing against much bigger players on the loudest digital day of the year, CAH not only didn’t discount their game… they raised the price by $5 just for that one day. In Max Temkin’s words (creator of the game and Chicago designer for a lot more cool stuff), “Anyone can do a sale for Black Friday, but nobody but us could get away with raising their prices and risking a ton of sales just to make a joke.”

That takes moxie. That takes guts. But more importantly, it takes confidence in knowing absolutely who you are as a brand and knowing what your fans will love. And giving it to them as a gift, without expectation, with a smile, to make them laugh.

It’s not about the money. Discounts will never make people keep talking about you. Take a page out of the Cards Against Humanity marketing playbook… your customers are smarter than you think and will thank you with their wallets later.

Thanks Kevin Ferlin for the inspiration for this post. And here’s a link to buy the game – at $25, it’s original price.

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