What Do Sherlock Holmes and Consumers Have in Common?

February 16th, 2012   •   2 comments   

Teaser Marketing - Sherlock Holmes
We all love a good mystery! (courtesy of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows)

Answer? They love to be teased and challenged. Preferably every step of the way until the bounty is unearthed.

Sadly, however, most marketing efforts today hasn’t matched the rise in consumer sophistication and expectation. Our aggregated abilities to captivate and charm a potential customer hasn’t caught up with the explosive growth in always-on social tools and communication networks.

For sure, our world is more instantly connected and seamlessly integrated than ever before.

Ubiquity =/= Uniqueness

With Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and WhatsApp invading our pockets and handbags, everybody’s perpetually plugged into the social and digital web.

It has never been easier to trigger a tsunami of interest without having to invest an arm and a leg in mainstream advertisements.

Unfortunately, ubiquity doesn’t correlate with uniqueness.

It is far easier to spread and share than to create. It is far easier to copy and paste than to build from scratch. Its also far easier to go with the flow than to swim against the rapids.

“Ubiquity does not correlate with uniqueness”

Play the Guessing Game

Why do Harry Potter, Marvel movies/comics, Apple’s newest gadget, and eat-anything-the-chef-prepares-for-you Japanese restaurants (called omakase menus) attract raving fans?

The answer? They leave you guessing where the story/meal will go next, leaving behind mere breadcrumbs for you to lap up.

While there are occasional clues and spoilers now and then, one never gets the full picture.

Choreograph Your Every Step

The best players in this game study and device every plot line like a Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie novel. They know that unveiling the story one step at a time works far better than spilling one’s guts out at the onset.

In an age of abundance and overflowing inboxes – literal or metaphorical – scarcity and mystique are highly prized.

Too many have hopped onto the all-you-can-eat/shop/play buffet trains. Too many are going for the lowest-price-in-town deals, where cutting each other’s throats is the only way to survive.

Scarcity is the New Abundance

Unless you have the deep pockets of Wal-Mart, Challenger Superstore or Food Junction, quit thinking that abundance is attraction.

Rather, the new mantra is that scarcity – and sometimes secrecy – is sacred.

Perhaps the next time you consider launching a new product, sparking a new marketing campaign or creating a new Facebook page, think about how you can enchant and engage your customers step by step.

One chapter, one feature, one benefit, and one morsel at a time.

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  1. posted on Apr 13, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Nice analysis!

    Have you read the Sherlock Holmes books as well.


  2. mmahessh
    posted on Dec 21, 2012 at 1:18 PM

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