GTM Unleashed: Shock Value: The Art of Aggressive Awakening

Alright, all you buttoned-up, play-it-safe marketers, gather ’round. We’re diving into the rabbit hole of the marketing wonderland, where rules shatter and norms disintegrate. Welcome to the wild world of “Shock Value.”

In this over-saturated digital age, where every Tom, Dick, and Harry is vying for attention, the meek will inherit nothing but a swift kick to obscurity. Want to make waves? Time to electrocute the pond!

Shock value is not about being distasteful or offensive just for kicks. No, that’s amateur hour. It’s about courageously breaching boundaries, making bold statements, and invoking visceral reactions. It’s art, strategy, and audacity all wrapped into one.

Why do you think pop stars wear meat dresses or arrive in eggs? It isn’t because they fancy a BBQ. It’s because they understand that you have to be the noise to cut through the noise. That heart-skipping-a-beat reaction, jaw drop, and indignant gasp are currency in the kingdom of virality.

In my Consumer Package Goods company, we always looked for shock value.  It was a grilling products company and one time we had the idea to do a cook-off between different mobile phones, riding on the coattails of a big Microsoft launch.  We had over 1M views and comments within 24 hours, even making the rounds to the most senior levels at Microsoft.  Windows phone won as the Samsung and iPhone both exploded before the Windows Phone did, btw!  The comments went from negative to positive until one viewer (not anyone from my company) wisely said, “It’s not about the phones you idiots, it’s about selling grills!”  We always saw a big bump in sell-through when we shocked.

Before you start planning your scandalous campaign, a word of caution: shock for shock’s sake is cheap. It fizzles out, leaving behind a stench of desperation. Actual shock value is anchored in authenticity, a message so raw, so unapologetic that it can’t help but jolt people from their comatose scrolling.

In this arena, there is no room for timidity. It’s a dance on the blade’s edge, where one misstep can lead to backlash. But when done right, it can propel you to heights of unparalleled prominence, making your brand unforgettable.

Let’s end with some words of wisdom from the ultimate provocateur, Salvador Dali: “It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.” In the world of shock value, the line between madness and genius is paper-thin. Dare to tread?

Like this message? Give me two minutes a day and I’ll help you scale your business so that customers are willing to pay a premium for what you offer and keep paying for it.