John Petersen

Beast Mode Marketing: The Genius of Marshawn Lynch

I love this story about Marshawn Lynch and his required media appearances. Marshawn doesn't want to talk to the media. The NFL threatened to fine him $500,000 if he didn't talk, so he did.

Sort of.

He really didn't say very much, but he certainly stole the show. If you watch ESPN at all, you know everything about Lynch's first appearance where he answered 29 questions all with the same answer:

"I'm just here so I won't get fined."

No matter what a reporter asked, he answered with the same response. And for some bizarre reason, they asked him 29 questions even though they got the same response over and over again for 4 minutes and 51 seconds before Marshawn left the stage.

Differentiated Marketing

From a marketing standpoint, Marshawn totally knocked it out of the park. His lame interview is all anyone could talk about after Media Day even though all the other players and coaches were pouring their hearts out trying to get attention. Marshawn won because it was unexpected and controversial.

I honestly don't think Lynch pulled this maneuver as a marketing stunt at all, but it certainly had that effect. He now has a ridiculous commercial out for Progressive: "I'm all about that Flo, boss". The hat he was wearing and selling on his personal site is completely sold out.

It worked because it was different. It's similar to what we saw with the ice bucket challenge and the glitter bomb website. It was a one-time event that just worked on such a ridiculous level, but it will never work like that again. Many glitter bomb knock off sites popped up almost instantly, and none will be remotely as successful as the original. Every non-profit board is trying to come up with how they can pull off their own ice bucket challenge. It won't work though.

The Marshawn Lynch Media Day fiasco was only possible because of many events leading up to that particular situation, and there's no way to replicate that.

How to Go Beast Mode

You can't. So don't even try. You can't do what Marshawn Lynch does. You ever see him run? The term Beast Mode isn't coincidence.

But. You can learn from him. If you want to stand out, don't do what everyone else is doing.

I just talked to someone last week who was looking for a technical cofounder. First, I told him to read this. Then I told him to stop doing what everyone else is doing. The way people look for a technical cofounder is by going out to startup events and pitching their idea to anyone who will listen hoping someone will answer their prayers. That never works. Do something different. Take a different approach.

There are infinite ways to stand out and be different. At Firehawk, our passion to build the highest quality products forces us to remain a 2 person company. Our clients love that. We love it. It's a great story, and it's definitely a different tone than everything else in tech that is trying to grow and scale as fast as possible.

Figure out your own Beast Mode. Be different. Be remarkable.

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