George Campbell is good at being bad. A professional standup comedian, he found his clean humor appealed to the corporate meeting crowd. One day he was thinking about how much easier it is to speak to a conference than it is to entertain a crowd in a Comedy Club. In his conversation with a friend he said, thinking out loud, “I ought to put together stage personality and act as the ‘world’s worst motivational speaker’.”
It took him two years before he was ready to introduce Joe Malarkey, this over the top, cheesy, motivation speaker. For example he parodies the typical motivation speaker by selling in the back of the room a weight loss program which includes 3 CD’s and a Sandwich. His YouTube promotional videos are on the wacky ways that Joe Malarkey got fired over the years.
Recently I sat with a group of professional speakers that got to spend a day with George and Mark Mayfield. These two comedic geniuses were like a great comedy club on steroids.
As a marketing maven I am so impressed with the marketing that George put together in his Joe Malarkey character. He went counter to the thousands of other speakers who are trying to outshine and outperform each other. His is a lone and unique product offering and it shows. His positioning is distinct, the imitators are nil, and his bookings reflect it.
With the multitude of marketing tools today success in the future will depend more and more on having a unique and fresh product or offering.
If you want to compete against United, Delta, Continental and American you start by looking at all their standard offerings and then pick the opposite: like reserved seating, meals, poor customer service, hubs for routing flights. When you pick the opposite you have Southwest Airlines.
If you want to compete with McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Subway instead of competing on price and speed, you pick high price and slower meals. Many names come to mind but Chipotle pops up for me.
What are your contrarian offerings?