Based on promoter and showman P.T. Barnum, ‘Barnumize’ means to advertise or promote something by using exaggerated claims and hyperbole.
While often these outlandish claims are easily rebuffed, the core ideas behind words such as ‘incredible,’ ‘easy’ or ‘amazing’ gives customers amusement or curiosity towards the offers and often hope towards successfully using the product or services.
A contemporary example of this is th late pitchman Billy Mays. You’ve seen him selling OxyClean and many other products on the T.V. His sideshow barker’s cadence, work shirt uniform and monochromatic hair and beard has made him both beloved, lampooned and reviled.
Most importantly, Billy is highly effective. Selling millions of dollars of products. He is living proof that almost any fool with $19.95 plus shipping and handling is soon parted, to paraphrase ol’ P.T. himself.
QUESTIONS TO ASK:
• Does my product lend itself to such a Barnumize approach?
• Would ‘Barnumizing’ my product change its perceived value?
• What strategies and tactics make more sense when presenting it this way?
• What is an example of a purchase I made that I now see was ‘Barnumized?’
Where can you add "Barnumize" to your advertsing and marketing plans?
Budget Suggestion: $25 - 100 a week for planning and action steps