People love to be wowed perhaps because it catches us by surprise or because it’s rare to behold one totally dedicated to the skill of his/her craft or because we are overwhelmed by the raw passion displayed or because it inspires us to pursue one’s dreams because they are worth the hard work and long wait despite all the naysayers and resistance.

At first there’s the offer, then resistance from the audience, next respectful pause to allow the performer to give proof to his offer. Then the build up and as the audience grows in anticipation, the climactic moment comes and “wows” the audience. Sometimes without warning the performer takes control, displays great poise, confidence and a delivery that brings people to their feet.

Where you tend to experience a wow moment:

  • Performances, especially solo – America’s Got Talent, The Voice, etc.
  • Concerts (sometimes seeing it live is better than hearing it a hundred times)
  • Magicians
  • Performing arts
  • Sports, especially College Football

Yes, you’ve experienced it and I’ll show you how to take advantage of it when you market your business.

Why do we love and root for the underdog?

The underdog is not expected to win or be successful because the odds are stacked against him, but he doesn’t flinch. His enemy is bigger, better and seems unstoppable, but the underdog is fueled with passion, determination and is ready for the challenge. Overcoming his enemy is an enormous task and probably requires a miracle. If the underdog does overcome his enemy, it is a big deal and everyone knows it.

We take sides with the underdog because we see his enemy as ours too; we’re inspired by his passion and determination despite the odds.

This imagery conjures up sporting events, entrepreneurs who storm the marketplace, the debut solo performance of young artists and the classic David vs. Goliath story.

What's up, dog? credit
What’s up, dog? credit

How can you turn your marketing into an event and be seen as the underdog who overcomes or serve the underdogs in your marketplace who want to overcome?

There are plenty of company’s who have an underdog brand biography: Apple, Avis, Clif Bar, Oprah Winfrey. Underdog branding can be very attractive and if you want to learn more about this concept, you might be interested in Anat Keinan’s research on it.

Instead of creating an underdog brand per se, find a way to appeal to the underdog in your ideal prospect.

For instance, there are plenty of big problems that consumers and businesses have today that seem almost impossible for them to overcome:

  • A fun, effective way to lose weight
  • Proven ways to improve your health so you feel much better
  • How to make more friends
  • How to have more enjoyable relationships with the opposite sex
  • Strategies and programs to make more money in business
  • Proven ways to get better at a hobby

If your product/service solves a problem like this – one that some believe is almost impossible to solve, start by explaining the benefits of your product/service and clearly define the opportunity (Act 1).

Next, demonstrate how your product/service can work for them (Act 2), by showing how it overcomes the problem. You may want to share a transformational story from one of your clients here that also answers some of the common objections. If your client’s situation is similar to your prospect’s situation, all the better.

Now that your audience is salivating at the benefits and the credible demonstration that it will solve the problem they are suffering from, it’s time to let them know that they can have it! Here you’ll want to explain what your offer is, what it will do for them and what it will mean to them personally or professionally.

This is Act 3, but the “Wow” moment came in Act 2. People tend to buy emotionally during Act 2 and that can lead to simply wanting to know how to buy in Act 3.

Of course there’s a lot more going on, but in each of the three Acts you are telling a story – the story that appeals to the underdog in your prospects and gives them legitimate hope about ridding themselves of the problem they are dealing with.

Who does this in their marketing?

Apple used to launch the iPhone product this way. Act 1 – Apple leaked features and benefits of the new version of the iPhone through reputable channels to get people thinking and talking about it.

Act 2 – Steve Jobs would make a formal announcement that the product will be released in the near future and confirms that the features and benefits are indeed what you’ve been hearing about from talk on the street.

Act 3 – The product release date is announced and lines begin forming at retail stores to buy the iPhone hours (sometimes days) before it is available.

This example probably resonates especially with people who bought their iPhone after waiting in line for its release.

Perhaps a more revealing underdog marketing example is Shakeology – a meal replacement superfood protein shake whose customers are people who want to lose weight and be healthy.

Shakeology’s Act 2 involves their partnership with Beachbody Coaches who love the Shakeology product. These Beachbody Coaches love and sell the product because it worked for them, so they sell to the people they know best – their friends and family.

My wife is now into Shakeology because one of her friends shared her struggle with weight loss and how Shakeology gave her what she needed to overcome. My wife has tried numerous programs to lose weight and very few of them work for her. Along the way she has discovered what will work and her friend “wowed” her at the opportunity to achieve a personal goal that my wife has wanted to do for a while.

My wife now has a product and a coach to help her get similar results!

The underdog marketing approach works for small business, especially for those who have a great product or service that solves a niche’s big problem.

Want to serve the underdog in your marketplace?

Consider these defining your niche tips from Kaya Singer before launching into underdog marketing:

  • Does your niche have a strong emotionally compelling problem or issue they need help with?
  • Do they want the positive results that will either make them feel much better or solve a big problem?
  • Are they willing to pay for the benefits they will receive because they see the value to their life, business and/or happiness?

If you answered yes to each of these, you have a perfect niche for the 3 Acts of Underdog Marketing and a high probability that they will experience the “Wow” moment with it.

Tom Shivers
Tom Shivers

I'm a ecommerce SEO consultant and President of Capture Commerce. I've managed digital marketing campaigns for scores of clients since 2000 and found that every business is unique with its own challenges and opportunities. When I see that I have contributed to the success of a business by helping them grow, it makes me feel awesome! That’s the coolest thing and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do this.

    2 replies to "How To Create The “Wow” Moment For Your Ideal Prospect"

    • Kaloyan Banev

      Extensive and well documented planning as well as a lot of work. I think that there is no point to reinvent the wheel, most good strategies are already well tested and should be followed.

    • Tom Shivers

      Hi Kaloyan, the underdog marketing strategy is well documented but there are others as well such as the reluctant hero.

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