Shake Out Your Dignity
In one of my first posts, I talked about the JumpSnap — a ropeless jump rope. Essentially, you wiggle your wrists and electronic device in your hands cheers you on. It’s always hilarious to see people trying to enjoy such ridiculous products in the infomercials. The Shake Weight is such a product:
The JumpSnap tries to create a problem (tripping over jumprope) to solve (a ropeless jumprope), whereas the Shake Weight tries to solve a problem (lifting weights) but taking the wrong approach (making a suggestive product). Yes, some people do not like going to lift weights at the gym. However, create a product that makes you look like an idiot is no way to solve it. Shake Weight users have to tightly grasp a weight that throbs in their hand… is that something you want to pass on to your equally lazy friend? As a joke, maybe.
Though the Shake Weight might actually work, it is embarrassing to use. Consequently, people do not want to spread the message about the product — killing any potential for positive buzz.
Take a look at how your product makes your users feel. If they’re conflicted — “wow it works, but I feel stupid doing it” — you probably shot yourself in the foot. With video networking sites such as YouTube, if you look stupid, then it is stupid. Therefore, not only does your product have to solve a problem, it needs to make the people using it feel good, not embarrassed.