Growing up, I admired Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs. At the time, he was a phenomenon soccer player. He was a dribbling and swift ball-handling master when he made his debut in 1991 at the age of 17.
As a result of my affection for him, I purchased Manchester United jerseys bearing his name and number 11.
I purchased approximately three Man United jerseys. As do the majority of soccer fans, they purchase jerseys of their favourite soccer players.
Then, something interesting happened. My brother occasionally wore one of my Manchester United jerseys. Over time, people began to refer to him as Giggs.
I purchased the jerseys, wore them, and he [my brother] wore one of the jerseys, but over time, my community, his friends, and neighbours began to refer to him [my brother] as Giggs and not me, the purchaser and legal owner of the Giggs jerseys 🙂
This was a fascinating marketing lesson for me: Even if you have a fantastic product, it won’t spread if you can’t let others see it and learn about it.
Contrary to popular belief, even if a product is excellent, it won’t sell itself. To be truly successful, products need to not just excel technically, but also reach out to the consumers they were designed to serve.
My brother is more popular than I am in our neighbourhood; he knows and is known by many individuals in our community.
People do not know who purchased the Giggs jerseys, nor do they care. All they know is that he is the one they see wearing the Giggs jerseys, and that is all that counts to them.
They see him wearing Giggs jerseys and they nickname him Giggs, end of story.
Customers could care less who designed Nike shoes or Apple’s iPhones, as long as the concept of high-quality footwear or electronics reaches them and they appreciate them.
Even though Steve Wozniak built Apple products, Steve Jobs is the face of Apple Inc. People remember who popularised products, not who made them.
As Seth Godin has said in his TED talk, ideas that spread win.
People who can spread ideas regardless of what those ideas are win.
As entrepreneurs, building a fantastic product is important, but your capacity to spread the word about your product to reach more people is crucial.
Getting the word out about your product is not about shouting about it from the rooftops; rather, it’s about building genuine human connections and standing out as an integral part of the community.
Build fantastic products, and then spread the word. Ideas that spread win.
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