Channelling Remarkability

Oscar de la Hera Gomez
A book by Jonah Berger titled Contagious.

Jonah Berger, through his Bestseller Contagious, has delicately carved a neural pathway by connecting Remarkability to Virality. Virality, in this case refers to Jonah’s definition, by which something is more likely to spread, via word of mouth, from one person to another, like a disease.

I would like to pause to highlight the choice of word of mouth.

Although we live in the era of social media, where we can spread information to the masses almost instantly. We often ignore the truth of face to face communication. According to the Keller Fay Group, only 7% of word of mouth happens online, with 93% of it occurring in normal day to day life. What’s more is this mundane connection is more targeted, sincere, contextual and as a result, powerful and valuable.

A curious fact, which in turn could be considered remarkable, is that I never saw it coming. This resulted in a sensation that led me to write this piece due to the, almost egoistic, social currency that I feel that it can provide to you.

I feel that this description is strong as Jonah points at inner remarkability as a Social Currency, and an essence of Virality.

Jonah defines Social Currency as a crafted message that delivers a desired impression. One that uses inner remarkability to make people feel like insiders. To put this in context, if I didn’t think this message had value and could help you, this piece wouldn’t exist. Furthermore, in agreement with Jonah, what’s interesting is that sharing this information provides a tingling, inner sensation. One that provides pride and a sense of enlightenment.

Is this not the attitude and behavior that we are seeking to create with our inventions?

To take it further, the word inner resonates with me, as I believe that good design comes from a visceral-neurotic immersion, that connects us to the user. Through it we intimately engage, or channel, with their actions and behaviors, enabling the creation of targeted products.

So, if this is the case, why should we not use this intimate engagement to channel remarkability, in order to understand what makes our invention so special? Surely if, as the inventor, one has connected at depth with the user, then the inner remarkability should be a clear-cut, obvious and in plain site. By design, there should be no marketing to fabricate. It should simply be there for us take and portray to the world.

So how can one channel remarkability into the process?

To close, I would like to share an example with you. A sample of the story of how I sold the Illusion Spinner to the Museum of Modern Art.

With the soul purpose of producing a desk toy to help me produce products, and get through the process, I had landed on the initial Illusion Spinner. I had no intention to pitch it as I did not think they would be interested, yet after producing it, it was never on my desk. It was always in someone hand or someones desk. Helping them as they worked. One could claim that this quirky, cone shaped spinner had produced its desired effect. But how exactly do I pitch such a thing ?

In one of my pursuits to recover my lost toy, I found myself talking to Judy Chi. In this instance, she began to detail someone playing with it as they worked; on the phone whilst they held a conversation, or simply in a childs hands. She described the sense of joy it provided, or as the Spanish put it, Illusion.

Truth be told, I would channel this remarkability to sell the product. From that day forward, I injected the sensation of illusion into the creative process. Driven by the story and momentum, I eventually landed on the final design which is sold in 33 countries around the world. Thank you Judy, I am forever grateful.

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