Is Your Promise Wild and Hairy?

Jim Collins brought the phrase Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) into our lexicon.  I always loved the notion of having a promise that is wild and hairy for a brand. Can businesses do something so outrageous that it stops you in your tracks and grabs your attention?  Whether a goal or a promise, the idea is to interfere with the standard way someone commits. Is your promise wild and hairy?

What type of BHAG could your company offer that is so ridiculous a claim, that it stops people in their tracks.

Some of these are big but only a few are really hairy…

A one month guarantee:  But bring your receipt to get a refund good toward another purchase.

A one year guarantee.   Better. But not that unusual.

A lifetime guarantee:  Moving in the right direction.

A one-thousand year guarantee:  Now you are talking. Wild and hairy.

A complete replacement if the product fails – anytime:  No receipt required. Makes me stand up and notice.

Double your money back: If you aren’t satisfied, for ANY reason, not only will I give you your money back, but I’ll double it!

Ridiculous:  If you are unhappy I will buy you a brand new car even though you only bought a $1500 motor from me.

Over the top: I will give you $1,000,000 if you can find a defect in my software.

No whining: If you don’t love the taste of our wine, we will refund your money and give you $100

Money Back Guarantee: If my advice doesn’t grow your brand, I’ll return your consulting fee. No risk but more of a crew cut not really big or hairy.

A grand idea:  We will save you money from your current grocery store. Prove us wrong and we will give you $1,000!

Is your promise wild and hairy?

You better find a way to offer something extraordinary if you are entering a crowded marketplace. Don’t expect to gain attention without offering a wow. Wow gets you noticed. And then your product better be wow – worthy.  Your wow needs to align with your product, position and promise.

  • Make a promise funny and entertaining.
  • Stand behind the wild idea. Must be real.
  • Be creative but authentic to the brand.
  • Don’t do what the competition does – go ten times beyond their offer.
  • If you really believe in your product – prove it!
  • Scream your offer. Don’t whisper it.
  • Test it with a small sample to see if it gets noticed.

Making a promise?  Go wild and hairy.



Need some help figuring out a wild and hairy promise to make to your customers? Connect with me for a haircut, shave and some ideas.

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