When is the Hype too Much?

This is Super Bowl week.

That means everyone in the football world is focusing on the Super Bowl, as they should be. The stories are interesting but are you turned off by the hype? Are you tired of the week-long promotion that is usually followed by a lopsided game? Are you tired of the media magnifying every little detail in an attempt to find one more viewer?

Don’t get me wrong. I think there are many good stories and there will be some great plays. It might even be a good game.

But too often the media hype the stories so much they don’t reflect reality. They promote the game beyond what it delivers. But they defend the hype as commonplace, what everyone does.

Are you tired of the hype? 

It is all around us. Many in business overhype their products and services as well. They want to make more sales and get the best people. So they excite, play it up or even lie and trick others to buy.

Where do we draw the line? 

I have focused on helping clients take their next big, disruptive step. To do that, they need a little hype but are wise to stay away from most of it. Actually, those that build the most sustainable success tend to avoid the hype. Let me explain.

Hype has four definitions, according to Dictionary.com.

First, Excite

Hype is “to stimulate, excite, or agitate (usually followed by up): She was hyped up at the thought of owning her own car.”

This type of hype is healthy. We have to get excited about our next big disruption or we might just get too complacent and someone will disrupt us.

Note to self: We don’t want someone to disrupt us – we want to be the disruptors.  Get excited about doing what you have never done.

Second, Flamboyant Promotion

Hype is defined as “to create interest in by flamboyant or dramatic methods; promote or publicize showily: a promoter who knows how to hype a prizefight.”

Creating interest is critical to any success. But how far do we go? The better question might be, “How much hype can we use before out target market starts to question us?” A savvy salesperson will promote the best features. The Carnival Barker is known to hype the experience beyond what it is. The used car salesman may fabricate the truth. Hype is a sliding scale that we need to use wisely.


Note to self: Know your target market and connect with them. Be careful of violating their trust with flamboyant tactics.  

Third, Questionable Claims

Hype is “to intensify (advertising, promotion, or publicity) by ingenious or questionable claims, methods, etc. (usually followed by up).”

That means hype is telling a lie. If we are disingenuous, we are not being honest. The only ones who need to be disingenuous in their promotion are those whose products don’t do what they claim to do. If you lie about your products, you are only looking for the first sale. If you are serious about building loyal customers, be honest.

Note to self: If your products and services provide a valuable disruption, you don’t need to lie. Build a loyal customer base with honesty.

Fourth, Trick

Hype is ” to trick; gull.”

A few years ago we purchased a washer and dryer from a Sears appliance store assuming that it was the same Sears company where we had purchased many appliances over the last 50 years. Surprise! We found out afterward that it was NOT the same company. They did not have the same warranty or bonuses but were led to believe they did. How do you think that made us feel? How do you think it affected where we purchased other appliances. Maybe the worst, what do you think we told others?

Note to self: People don’t like to be tricked. To be disruptive and make a significant impact on your loyal customers, treat them with respect. 

Customers want products and services that significantly improve their lives. When we provide that to them, they will do our promotion better than we can. They will gladly tell others and drive our business.

Dr_Murfield-400x400Loren Murfield, Ph.D.

I have the privilege of being a strategic advisor to clients seeking disruptive change. Some start new businesses, others pursue new careers and still, others write their book. Email me today to discuss the radical changes you can make in 2018.

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