Saturday, February 13, 2010

What Makes Something Zazzle?

I was taking my adorable niece, Reagan, to kindergarten the other morning.  My sister dropped her off at the crack of dawn (for me anyway) with the usual assortment of gear.  Included in the piles of snow boots, backpack, and snacks was a special bag that needed to be deliverd directly to the kindergarten teacher.

Reagan had the honor of selecting the plates, cups, and napkins for the Valentine's Day festivities in her class. 

As I wearily scrubbed my eyes to bring things into focus, my bubbly little charge dropped to the floor and unceremoniously dumped out the contents of her shopping bag.  "Wait until you see these, Aunt Mo," she enthused as only a 5-year-old can.

There, in the harsh light of my 100-watt foyer chandelier, she produced the goods.  Paper finery fit for a celebration of love.  The plates were covered in red and pink hearts.  Hearts swamped nearly every inch of the surface of each item.  Wow.

And, that's when the prolific words lept from her mouth.  She's a marketing sage.  A product development powerhouse.  The people at Dixie need this girl on their team.  She summarized what may have involved dozens of meetings by well-meaning executives; a graphic design team arguing over color and style; and research with target audiences that included a spectrum of demographics and psychographics.

Reagan nailed it all with one sentence.

"I picked these because they had the most hearts," she said in a serious, businesslike manner.  "Aren't they so pretty?"

Ahhhh, that's the secret to everything.  Don't over think it.  Just fill it up with more of the stuff that makes people smile.  Give 'em what they want.  And, add a little bit more -- sort of a dollop of whipped cream on the top -- just because you can.  And should.

So, get back to it, folks.  Whatever you do for a living.  Whatever your product or service.  Add some more hearts to the darn thing.  Why not?  It's bound to make your customers smile and sigh with joy.  Somebody listened to their desires.  Give it some more zazzle!

Besides, Reagan will be watching.  And, she's not gonna buy it if it doesn't have heart!