In the recent film about iconic actor Marlon Brando, ‘Listen to Me Marlon’, there is a short sequence in which he talks about standing out from the crowd by being authentic and going beyond the cliché. It’s about his approach to the craft of acting but his words can be read as an analogy for any form of communication.
The way Brando acted on stage and screen was different – he revolutionized acting. He brought raw emotion to his performances by drawing on his own life experiences. He thoroughly researched his roles to gain fresh insights and lend authenticity. These techniques allowed him to seem fresh, powerful, emotionally engaging and real. It was mesmerising and unlike anything audiences had seen before. Shockwaves rippled through the industry and Marlon Brando was transformed from a nobody into a global star.
What does that mean for us? Studies show that there is a tendency for people to remember that which stands out, known as the ‘Von Restorff Effect’. Research also suggests that we are more likely to respond to things that emotionally engage us. And, in this age of fake news, we seek truth.
So, make your brand, product or service stand out from the crowd - people will be more likely to notice and remember it. Do your research, find something original to say, then engage your customers with humanity and honesty. Be authentic. Make it alive. Make it memorable. Listen to Marlon when he urges: get them on your terms, hit ‘em, knock ‘em over with an attitude, a word, a look. Be surprising. Figure out a way to do it that’s never been done before. You’ve got to stop that movement from the popcorn to the mouth. Get people to stop chewing. The truth will do that.