In just 60 seconds, Taylor Swift sold out all 18,200 seats at Madison Square Garden. Her music, and the experience she creates for fans, is irresistible.

Fistfights have broken out as eager customers battle it out to get a pair of Nike limited editions kicks.

In contrast, think about the cover band in the lobby of the nearby hotel, playing to a half-full room of apathetic listeners who offer neither money nor applause. Or the wide selection of athletic shoes available and readily in stock for under $30 at your local Walmart.

In nearly every industry, there are products and services that are bland, boring, and basic. And then, there are the few that are irresistible. Bill Clinton has earned more than $100 million delivering speeches, yet most public speakers are lucky to earn a chicken dinner at the local Rotary Club.

So what makes Taylor Swift, Nike, and Bill Clinton irresistible, and how can you harness the same verve for your business? Here are four key ingredients:

Go to extremes. Irresistible products, services, and people are typically extreme cases. They offer the absolute highest quality. Or lowest price. Or most extreme experience. They are the loudest or quietest; the biggest or smallest. Rarely do you find irresistibility in the middle of the pack.

Become unapologetic. Costco doesn't try to be a plush retailer. Floyd Mayweather doesn't pretend to be humble. Being irresistible means being authentic and unabashed. Take a stand, and never try to be all things to all people.

Tempt with exclusivity. The fear of missing out on something scarce boosts your irresistibility factor. Limited editions, exclusive offers, and scarce supply drive demand. The more rare, the more results.

Create emotional connections. Delivering on basic product or service expectations doesn't create differentiation; being competent is merely the ante to play. Creating meaningful experiences with each interaction leads to being irresistible. Do you and your offering delight all five senses of your customers, audience, or colleagues? If not, time to take it up a notch.

Even in challenging financial times, the Hermes Birkin bag is only available for the company's most loyal customers. It's so exclusive that mere mortals like us can't walk into a store, plunk down $12,000-$20,000, and walk out with one of these purses.

The bags are so irresistible that fashionistas often pay double (or more) to snag a used one on eBay.

What would it take to make you and your company just as irresistible? Instead of wasting money to market a mediocre product, make it irresistible. To advance in your career, make yourself irresistible to those you serve.

Alluring. Tempting. Desirable. When you amp up these factors, customers, investors and employers simply won't be able to resist.

 

Published on: Mar 17, 2015
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