Five Kinds of Amazing, Part 1: Talent

Five Kinds of Amazing, Part 1: Talent

Last time, we discussed the “Five Kinds of Amazing” model for increasing brand engagement. This week, we examine the first category in more detail. Further, we will begin to tie those experiences to business competencies.

Within the genre of theatrical magic, there exists a branch of performance related to the open display of skill and dexterity. This style of magic performance is called “manipulation.” (In the magical world that word carries none of the negative connotations sometimes associated with the term in other settings.) Some performers become legends because of their manipulation acts. One such performer was Richard Pitchford, who performed as Cardini. His skill with playing cards, making them appear and disappear even while wearing gloves, made him a figure so revered that his name still tops any list of skillful magicians of the past century.

Five Kinds of Amazing: Talent and Expertise
Five Kinds of Amazing: Talent and Expertise
The open display of talent is a fundamental category of amazing performance experiences. We are impressed and astonished when we see an individual perform at a high level, whether they are manipulating magic props, dancing en pointe, or breaking a world record at the Olympics. Jaw-dropping demonstrations of honed talent engage attention, exceed expectations, and may even defy explanation beyond some recognition of the years it took to perfect the skill. Nothing supernatural had to happen to create the astonishment; it was just the experience of seeing someone perform and achieve at a high level. That is the first kind of “amazing.”

When it comes to creating an amazing experience for a brand’s audience, the parallel experience to “Talent” is “Expertise.” Amazing brands consistently demonstrate and share a high degree of specialized knowledge. Whether through blogging, social media, traditional marketing, or public relations, amazing brands consistently share interesting, unusual, or practical information. This information usually indicates such a depth of knowledge and command of history in their field that they are instantly positioned as the experts.

An interesting facet of this parallel relationships lies in the speed with which expertise is demonstrated. A novelty act on stage knows that he has to come out strong and nail them early in the performance with something that proves not just competence, but mastery. Likewise, the sooner a brand demonstrates mastery when they encounter a new audience, the better positioned they are to establish and defend their claim to “amazing” in that audience’s mind.

Talent. Expertise. Have a great opener and differentiate yourself from the rest in the way that you share expert knowledge.

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