Humans are complicated things.

Sometimes we behave in ways that defies common-sense.

Think about this: Why does knowing a secret make you secretly want to tell EVERYONE?

It's all down to status... Humans are pretty much obsessed with it.

We buy clothes, cars, watches, technology and other trivial tat mainly to impress other members of our tribe.

We measure our own value by the brands we associate with. And unfortunately we make judgements of others by the same criteria.

Big brands use this trick on us all the time.

But, have you ever thought how this can be leveraged in YOUR marketing?


A great way to do this is by using the power of insider-knowledge.

Knowing something that others don't has given us a survival advantage over thousands of generations. So we're hard-wired to get a dopamine response in the brain when we find out something of perceived value.

I saw the power of this a few years ago when on holiday in San Francisco.

As a bit of a coffee geek I had Blue Bottle Coffee on my radar long before the flights were even booked.

And whilst researching their locations online I heard people on Trip Advisor talking of a 'secret menu'.

I was immediately transformed from an eager potential customer, to a vocal brand advocate.

I now knew a secret.

It felt like I was in their inner-circle, and I'd not tasted their coffee yet.

I quickly messaged some SF based Twitter-pals to find out if they knew of this menu.

To my delight, they had not. And they were as excited as I was to discover what it was like.

They went, tried the coffee, loved it and reported back.

I was happy because I'd helped friends. They were happy because they had an improved customer experience... And Blue Bottle were happy because they sold more coffee.

Each person who finds out has the potential to refer dozens of potential new customers.

In reality, the 'secret menu' is a clever marketing ploy to trick people into talking about it... It's kind of like using reverse psychology on a child.

But how can you use this in your business if you don't sell food or drinks?

Well, how about sending an email to past customers and offering them a 'secret' incentive to refer customers to you, or share your content on social media? 

Why not target influencers online who could have a free version of your product in exchange for talking about what you do?

But you don't even NEED to be this calculated.

Why not reward a good customer with a secret 'extra'... But the secret could be that EVERYONE gets it.

You need to be creative here. The goal is to think how you can give someone an incentive to start a conversation about you.

We're basically engineering 'word-of-mouth' advertising.

People assume that this happens organically, but that is just the perception.

You need to work to get people talking.

But the key is to focus on one person at a time.

It all comes down to value. You need to give people a REASON to talk about you.

There are dozens of strategies you can use for this... And I'll talk about more of them in future blog posts.

But don't tell anyone, okay... It's our little secret ;-)