What is the biggest news story you’ve come across over the past 10 years that keeps you in a state of awe?

Every morning when you wake and check the news or social media feeds there is a massive dump of stories from around the globe. Some funny. Some gut retching. Some so sad you cry. And some of these stories plant into your brain forever.

What makes some stories stick and others just roll off?

The essence of that question is the secret of marketing. If you can make a brand stick, you have touched something in the consumer that other brands missed.

The obvious way of getting consumer attention is saturation. By continually bombarding your target market with your message you will overload their brain. This approach has been used since the Romans first marched in their matching uniforms in 27 BC. This strategy is still just as strong over 2000 years later if you have the cash to saturate.

Most brands don’t have the money to own all of the thousands of media, special interest channels and networks that are available in every city today. So the focus becomes defining what is the best way to connect with your target market? Before you can do that, you have to know who your target market is and how they think.

The more you understand who your target market is, the better you can plan your marketing. Simple business 101 right? Why tell everyone watching the evening news that you have a new improved hair trimmer for men’s beards? The only reason for that size of media buy is you have the money that allows for saturation. There is also most likely a targeted strategy to some secret society of bearded men’s facebook group club and the product is probably being featured in YouTube videos and blogs of the top 100 famous beards.

If you don’t have the cash flow for the all inclusive hit everyone approach, then you start with the viral approach. Make your marketing remarkable and get your audience to talk about it. Take a look at how a brand out of nowhere call “dollar shave club” took on “Gillette” and won.




The “dollar shave club” strategy was simple – “guys want a cheaper razor”. To get their message out to their millennial target market in March of 2012 they used a DYI approach and created a funny and irrelevant YouTube ad titled “our blades are f**king great”. This was supported with target social media ad buys.

The ad was a viral hit. The product blew up. The video won the 2012 ad age “best out of nowhere video campaign” award.

the dollar shave club sold $1 billion!
In April 2016 the company was purchased by Unilever for a reported $1 billion in cash!

Amazing what targeting can do. Know your consumer and start to understand what sticks with them and you could be the next dollar shave club.

So take a look what news stories are still on your brain’s repeat button and dissect them to figure out why they stick? It might be your secret to getting your brand to stick with your target market.




cheers grant ivens, rgd
brand surgeon |  rocket scientist  |  educator
say what! communications corp. ivens@saywhat.com