What Daredevils Can Teach Us About Internal Marketing

Did you see the guy who jumped his mountain bike over two sections of the Tour de France a few weeks ago? Maybe you didn’t, but millions of people across the world watched him make death-defying leap. It made international news and got several hundred thousand views on YouTube.

Stunts like this one get attention. The daredevil takes a situation that is relatively normal to us and they disrupt our pattern of thinking. They introduce a new and strange variable to a situation we normally wouldn’t give a second thought to.

If stunts can get the public to pay attention, why don’t companies use stunts to get their employees to pay attention? The number one complaint we hear form corporate marketing teams is they struggle to get “mindshare” with their frontline employees. They simply can’t get people to pay attention to their new product, campaign or customer experience program.

With too many priorities and too few resources, most companies choose to communicate with their people in the way they believe is most “efficient”. We learned in our Brand Dilution research study earlier this year that companies still rely on email and product training as their two primary ways of getting information to their people.

Email? Click. Send. Done. Efficient. No increase in mindshare, but the box is checked.

Product training? Has anyone ever said “if you want to cut through the clutter in my day, your best bet is to put me through more training”?

So why not try a stunt to get your people’s attention. Take a mundane situation, introduce a completely foreign variable that illustrates a point you are trying to deliver, and disrupt their pattern of thinking. Boom! Instant mindshare!

I recently heard a story about a company pulling off a masterful stunt for their employees. At a company conference, people were grouped into teams and given a pile of bicycle parts. In order to earn the tools they needed to assemble the bikes, each team had to answer questions as a team about a specific company initiative. Each right answer meant one more tool to complete the assembly.

Being a competitive group, they all thought the game was to get them to assemble the bike the fastest. At the end, instead of awarding a prize for the fastest team, the company brought in underprivileged youths from a local community program and each team got to give the bike to a child. The company simultaneously got their teams to engage around key company information while putting a twist onto the exercise that ensured that people would never forget it.

Some may say a stunt is a low-brow way to get attention, but it doesn’t have to be. When marketers think about their internal marketing efforts, ways they can better activate their brand through employees, stunts should be on your list. They get attention. They raise awareness. They generate buzz. They’re memorable. If mindshare is what you want, you might not have a better option.

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