The Role of Shiny Objects

Face it. We all suffer a little from what’s been defined as “Shiny Object Syndrome.” You know, that need for bling, sparkle, and the excitement that it brings. While I love wearing that big, sparkly ring and wrapping myself in a wildly printed scarf when I go out on Saturday night, they are certainly not staples of my wardrobe that I count on working for me every day. That honor goes to things I’ve carefully chosen, and invested in. These are things that mean something, and through their solid nature, give me confidence. Every so often, I can spice things up with a little pop of bling. But with too much, you lose the essence of who you are and what you’re really trying to say. Bling

So what does this have to do with marketing and PR? Well, I think there is a big lesson here. Wild and shiny objects may have a place in your campaign – if they make sense in the overall strategy. That wild and shiny object could be a new technology, social media platform, or even a crazy message you want to put out there to get attention. To determine if the shiny object has a role, consider these questions:

  1.  Does my audience want the shiny object? Someone recently told me a story about an idea to build a cool mobile platform to communicate with their target audience. It would be innovative, and the team would be so proud to have produced it. Problem was, research showed that their target audience would never use it, much less respond to it. On the flip side, you may determine that your audience is craving the shiny object! For example, we’ve found that a wild Christmas card we do for a client each year has been welcomed with open arms by their customers. We always find ourselves having to top the year before!
  2.  Is the shiny object consistent with your brand? Make sure that if you pursue the shiny object in your campaign, your brand and overall marketing and communications strategy is carefully aligned not just with the shiny object, but the message that it will contain.
  3.  Do I have a vision for how the shiny object will be incorporated and executed? Once you decide to include the shiny object in your campaign, have a clear plan for where it fits in, and build a real timeline for how you’re going to execute it, who will be responsible, what resources are needed, and how you will determine the success. Wild and shiny objects are among the hardest things to execute! Face it, it’s one thing to come up with a crazy and innovative idea … it’s a completely different ball of wax to make it actually happen, and make sure it’s going to impact your business.
  4.  How will I balance the shiny object with the classics? Unless you’re Lady Gaga, you can’t walk out in public donning an ensemble made of meat. But if a small sliver of beef and a filet of flank makes sense in your wardrobe, mix it with more classic pieces so people can see the whole you rather than just focus on the creative. Same thing with your marketing. Think about it. Most of us can remember ultra-creative Super Bowl commercials of years past – but most of the time, we don’t recall the product or service being advertised. So don’t let the shiny object outshine your brand and message.

In the end, remember that if planned and executed correctly, shiny can be fun, innovative, and garner attention. But just because it’s shiny doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to work, so be sure to have solid strategy behind it, and create the right mix of shiny and classic.

At Kolbeco, we help businesses tell their story. We develop creative, personal marketing messages that not only increase brand awareness, but show results!  If you want to share your story with us, please feel free to drop us a line. We’re all ears!