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The value of being a little bit weird when it comes to marketing. Plus, other lessons from Silicon Valley


Steve jobs transformed an ailing company into one of the largest companies in the world by putting “a thousand songs in your pocket.”

Google crushed Alta vista, Netscape, Lycos and many other search engines with the simple catchphrase, “Google it!”

Time to ‘get weird’

So what worked? Seth Godin claims Steve jobs was more akin to an artist than an industrialist. Artists are known to be a little strange. Jobs Mantra was “think different” and Godin echoes this. Speaking to BRW magazine in 2013, he said, “more people need to ‘get weird’ to bring out their marketing genius.”

Jobs also used the “1984” Orwellian advertisement at the Super Bowl to garner massive attention to his company. Anyone who has seen it, will agree, it was so beautifully weird.

Even today that tradition has been passed on. Apple’s new chief, Tim Cook, is clear about his company’s target audience.

“There’s always a large junk part of the market. We’re not in the junk business,” Cook said in a 2013 briefing.

“There’s a segment of the market that really wants a product that does a lot for them, and I want to compete like crazy for those customers … I’m not going to lose sleep over that other market, because it’s just not who we are.”


More than just white packaging and putting an “i” before everything?

So Apple wants to market to those of us weird enough to like design in electronics and are prepared to pay for it.

Weird in marketing speak, is the new niche.

Dollar Shave Club and Old Spice both know the value of weird and have built massive following due to their recent zany marketing methods. Old Spice has over 35 million hits and 410,000 followers on You Tube. Dollar shave reached 13 million views and 89,000 followers. Attracting views on that level can only equate to massive conversions on the other end.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page dropped out of university to complete the algorithm that revolutionized search on the net. People that meet Larry often feel he is a little “weird” as Ken Auletta says in his book Googled. Auletta quotes Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt Google, as saying ” I often feel like I live on another planet.”

Weird is the new normal…

Weird is normal at Google. Hence Google like changing the logo on their search page frequently, as a little bit of weird.

Weird works, it gets you standing out. So maybe in looking at your own marketing you need to give up the marketing degrees and so called experts and just get a little weird?

Brett Jones is CEO of The Entrepreneurs Tribe by Cre8 and frequent author on entrepreneurial matters. @ET_tribe