But what makes it sexy?

November 2, 2010

So you’re pitching a (business, idea, product)…but what makes it sexy?


I’m thinking about this word because I just flipped through the channels to see the special 200th episode of Dancing with the Stars and team Kristi is kicking team Apollo’s arse, and it’s clear why…. Team Kristi’s moves are sexy, sexy, and sexy.


So what does that word mean? The interesting thing is that it doesn’t mean “sex” at all. In fact,  if something is blatantly about sex (like pornography) then it’s really not sexy, it’s just tacky.   The word sexy means “arousing sexual desire” – which is both our most base, animalistic pursuit, and simultaneously our most spiritual means of connection.


Think about that… our most animal desire, AND our most spiritual craving to merge with another person and create life.


Can you imagine if that was the emotion your product evoked?


Imagine a brand new black BMW pulls up next to you. Does it make the driver gorgeous, smooth, elegant, fast and in control? No! Not at all. But wow does it evoke those emotions.


People don’t actually buy the thing they’re buying. They are really buying the emotion that they believe the product will give them. They are buying the “future state” they will be in, once they have it in their possession.


The mistake I see marketers making is that they’re just too blatant (much like pornography).  Simply giving benefits, reasons, and features is a losing game. It’s like walking up to someone and trying to explain that you’re a very cool person.  It just feels wrong, even if you make a good case.


So “How do we get them to buy?” is never a good question.  The better question is what emotion are you selling? And how can you show that without even saying a word.