Kathy Sierra vs. GoDaddy

Motel Sign
Sex sells.

I won’t deny that. It does.

But sometimes we mistake that to mean selling sex works.

I’m sure you either saw or heard about the basely provocative GoDaddy ads over the last 2 years. I’m also sure that they saw some increase in sales just because of the PR generated by the blatantly sensational ads. But how much did the racy campaign help them in the long run?

So, sex sells. Can it truly seduce?

What if instead of creating strip-teasing commercials, GoDaddy would have created a truly seductive product? Kathy Sierra gives a great checklist for doing just that. While GoDaddy’s ads may be visually stimulating, their core product is more like a cold shower.

If they followed Kathy’s “Typology of Cognitive Pleasures”, then GoDaddy could be dominant in many categories. I believe this is especially true given the geeky nature of people registering domain names. Especially for the trend-setters.

Even by implementing the first 5 in her list, an online service like GoDaddy could not only shoot off like a rocket, but also find sustainability:

1. Discovery
User experience as exploration of new territory

2. Challenge
User experience as obstacles to overcome, goals lying just beyond current skill and knowledge levels

3. Narrative
User experience as story arc (user on hero’s journey) and character identification

4. Self-expression
User experience as self-discovery and creativity

5. Social framework
User experience as an opportunity for interaction/fellowship with others

So instead of using a sexy woman to sell their product, they could create a product that taps into a customer/user’s “experiential pleasure” (as Kathy puts it) and thus make their product the object of affection… not the models in their ads.

Dustin Staiger is a business consultant and speaker in Houston, TX. He addresses team and individual effectiveness, communications, creativity and branding for global corporations as well as non-profits and start-ups.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “Kathy Sierra vs. GoDaddy

  1. I love it! I have never quite heard it in those words before, but as brand developer and manager, I completely see the mind shift.

    Thanks for the post,

    Jen