Everyone needs a gimmick, especially in New York City.
If you want to stand out at a cocktail party or crowded lounge, you need something to push you above the crowd. Some people call that personality; others call it charisma. I call it a gimmick.
It’s no different with branding a product, business, or service. You need to discover what your gimmick is to get noticed, regardless of what you are selling.
Now before the critics start mincing words and breaking down my statement with comments like, “That is shallow,” or “Execution beats style,” or “Hype loses to substance,” ……yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it.
And I agree with you.
But let’s take off that analytical, argumentative cap for a second and discuss this idea in the gray world we live in today.
How a Gimmick Helps with Your PR Campaign
If you own a restaurant or bar or want your personality to get noticed, you’d better have a gimmick that separates you from the crowd.
I like to call this branding. Many entrepreneurs and business owners rightly assume that “gimmick” implies a form of forgery or scheme of deception. (Again, turn off the left brain and click on the right brain for the purpose of this article). A gimmick is a way to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
How to Identify your Gimmick for a PR Campaign
There are hundreds – maybe thousands – of PR firms in the U.S., so how does MACIAS PR stand out from the pack? What’s our gimmick?
I am a former journalist who understands intuitively and intimately how the media works.
I’ve been inside (and run) those meetings where stories are approved and killed. I know what it takes to get a story on the news. That is what separates my PR firm from others. That is my gimmick.
It’s no different with your business. You need to discover what your gimmick is. If you don’t have one (or can’t identify one), then you are in trouble, because you have given consumers no reason to buy your product or visit your store.
This gimmick applies to everything. If you are a politician, why should we vote for you over the incumbent? If you’re a restaurant, why should I order from your menu?
What was President Obama’s “gimmick” when he ran against Sen. John McCain? Barack Obama was the man with hope. I’m sure Mr. Obama believed it, but that was, in essence, a gimmick.
I was at a dive bar last week (called “Dive Bar 75”) when this gimmick concept was reinforced. Dive 75 in Manhattan gives away chocolate and it is a brilliant idea. Chocolate gives women a serotonin rush and guys a sugar rush. What better combination is there to mix with alcohol?
I had dinner with friends last week and I shared my gimmick for a new restaurant. (Unfortunately, I can’t tell you that gimmick because I want to pursue it one day). Everyone at the dinner table said they wanted to go to this restaurant, but guess what? The restaurant doesn’t exist yet, which makes the gimmick that much more powerful.
The gimmick lures you into the story
If you need to brainstorm on a future gimmick for your business, ask yourself what you can do to stand out from the crowd. Sure, it’s a simple question, but most lawyers, accountants, and medical doctors don’t acknowledge that question on day one.
Perhaps that is because they are choosing to use their left brain over their right brain. Now that I think about it, these are probably the same people who are arguing that a “gimmick” is shallow and will never work.
Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017 and 2018 Strategic PR Firm of the Year. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the Financial PR Firm of the Year. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s also a frequent contributor with CNBC and author of the books, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media and the Tao of PR.