We love to get excited. So, what is the news in that, you might be wondering. Did we not always seek excitement? Not really. There have been times when people were looking for security more than excitement. But now people are looking for excitement in almost everything.

Excitement has become on of the factors on which people base their decisions. They are more likely to buy a product, choose something or take part in something if it is exciting to them. Does this mean that everything needs to be a roller-coaster ride? Not really. Excitement comes in many shapes and sizes. However, you need to make sure that you choose a type of excitement that fits your purpose. Get it wrong and it will have customers turn away from you.

So, what choices do you have? At the word excitement most people immediately think about something like the roller-coaster I mentioned before. But you can also become excited about taking a long hike in the mountains. You can be excited about working with your neighbours to clean up the street. But you can also be excited about going to see the band you love. These are all very different things to be excited about. And you target audience can be excited about what you have for them. But only if you can hit the sweet spot of their excitement.

Your first challenge is to analyze your offer. It is not really important what you are offering. Just about everything can trigger some kind of excitement with its target audience. About three years ago, I talked to an online seller of chess games and chess materials. They were looking to grow their business, but they did not really know how. As you will understand, excitement over chess is the excitement of pushing your own strategic abilities. It is the excitement of solving a hugely complicated puzzle. It does not give you an adrenaline rush, but it does give a sense of achievement. Together we decided that this ought to be the excitement that should be aimed for. The excitement of pushing yourself, of beating the ability of others through commitment.

An example of how to get it wrong was presented to me last weekend on a motorcycle show. Here was this beautiful hand built bike which was built as a tribute to Barry Sheen. It is easily the fastest production road bike in the world, of which only 52 are to be built. Everything on the bike was purposefully created. Nothing was overlooked. And the €130K price tag reflected this. However, it sat on a square meter pedestal in front of a magazine stand with only a banner drawing a bit of attention to it. A shame for a bike that could replace the current bike in the dreams of men loving fast bikes. Interestingly a talk with the owner revealed that that was just the thing they really wanted to do. They wanted to put this bike in the heads of people as the ultimate performance road bike. The audience was there, but few people noticed it. The image of the bike would have been helped much more if the display would have been bigger and had a more exclusive feel to it. It would have helped if it would have had screens showing the bike beating other bikes in sprints and circuit races. And that theme could be extended to their online presence where they could trigger an online competition that would prove that whatever you pitch against it, their bike would always beat it convincingly. That would give this bike the sporting legend they are looking for. A mix that would get their target audience excited when they spotted a glimpse of the bike anywhere.

So, how about your product then? The first thing to do, is to determine what the excitement around your product could be. And then reconsider it. Ask others who do not know your product or yourself to give their opinion on how your product would excite them. Because honestly, we all have pre set ideas on what excitement would be for our products. A city council might think the excitement in cleaning up your street would be in living in a nice neighborhood. However, for its citizens the excitement might be in pulling people together from a couple of blocks and achieving something together. Never assume you know the answer. Have a number of people look at it from the outside. Often they will come up with things you never thought of.

But at the end of it all, be exciting. Be something that people can warm up to. Be something that they look forward to. Be something that they can care about. And don’t be afraid to move outside of your primary goals to achieve this. Because you, your product, your idea or your project can get others excited.

This post is part of a series on 10 social trends that can help you get your point across. For more information or a tailored advice on what could be your opportunities, get in touch on arne@arnehulstein.nl