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Apple. Tesla. Coca-Cola. If you’ve ever read a marketing textbook or business magazine, you’ve read countless words about these companies and how brilliant and innovative they are. But they’re not exactly weird marketing tales, are they?

To be sure, these companies truly are brilliant. But what good does reading about them do if you run a small business? Or if you’re a freelancer? Or just a person with an idea? Not a whole lot.

Truth is, no one runs a business like yours. You have unique questions and unusual problems. You have to figure out what you want and how to get it. Trouble is that no two people want the exact same thing out of life.

That’s why we started Weird Marketing Tales. Why talk about the Fortune 500 when we can talk about video games and wrestling, movies and memes, cartoons and music?

There’s a logic to this – every consumer product you love, big or small, succeeded for a different reason. Weird Marketing Tales are case studies about what we love, what we find interesting, and what we find bizarre. What better place to draw inspiration from?

That’s the purpose of Weird Marketing Tales: to inspire, educate, and motivate.

So where do I begin with Weird Marketing Tales?

Enter your email to download the eBook.

First, if you haven’t already, download our free eBook – Experimental Marketing: Turn Your Curiosity into Success.

If you have a bunch of weird marketing questions and have no idea how to even begin to answer them, then this guide is for you. It’s all about how to form your own marketing experiments so you can find answers for even your hardest questions.

If you’re here for inspiration, motivation, and fun…

If you’re here for inspiration, motivation, and fun, check out the Weird Marketing Lessons series. Some of our fan-favorite posts include:

The Incredible Downfall of Rax Roast Beef

“We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little, we went insane.”

Originally spoken by Francis Ford Coppola about the filming of Apocalypse Now, I think this statement applies just as well to the marketing misadventures of Rax Roast Beef circa 1991.

Why Formula 1 is So Popular Right Now

Every nation has its great past-time. For the USA, it’s baseball. For the UK, it’s football (soccer). Getting people to pay attention to a new sport is a tall order – and that’s why Formula 1’s recent success is so stunning.

This Is Why People Find Super Mario 64 Conspiracies Scary

Did you know every copy of Super Mario 64 is personalized?

Well, at least that’s the theory. It’s said that even back in 1996, Nintendo was able to create an AI that adapted to a player’s skill level, playstyle, and even desires. It’s so subtle you’d never notice it, until you try someone else’s copy and realize how strange and unfamiliar it is.

How The Room Made $30 Million by Being a Terrible Movie

Released in 2003, The Room is widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made. It holds a score of 3.7 out of 10 on IMDb and an astounding 9 out of 100 on Metacritic. Film critic, Marg Mohan, claimed that the film “oozes sincerity, which is then slathered in a thick coating of oblivious narcissism, and sadly serves as an example that not everyone should follow their bliss.”

It earned $30 million on a $6 million budget. 

How Karen’s Diner Serves Up Awful Customer Service & Makes Millions

Do you dream of being a massive jerk to people around you?

Well, of course, you do. We have all had moments where you want to speak your mind or simply get stuff off your chest because you had a crap day. Thankfully, there is a magical place where you can be accosted by mean-spirited waitstaff and hurl insults right back: Karen’s Diner.

How on Earth is SpongeBob SquarePants Still Relevant in 2022?

SpongeBob is actually kind of old now – certainly old enough for a boating license. He’s been around for 23 years, having started all the way back in 1999. And yet the show is still a mainstay in our popular online culture. In fact, more people are looking it up online today than nearly any point between 2004 and 2014 – and today’s level of interest in SpongeBob isn’t even at an all-time high.

WWE vs. AEW: The Wrestling Brand Smackdown of a Lifetime

John Cena. The Rock. Hulk Hogan. The world of wrestling has cemented these names into the minds of kids and adults alike. Their names are known worldwide as are their spider webs of wrestling moments, movies, and controversies.

If you pay attention, the wrestling world will teach you a masterclass in branding.

How Taylor Swift Took on the Music Industry & Won

Taylor Swift might not have a college degree, but she has been working on her Master’s in Marketing since she was nine.

Swift has been the driving force behind her career. Yes, she has always worked with teams of supportive business professionals. But her shifts from country (self-titled to Red) to pop (1989 to Lover) to folk (Folklore & Evermore) to Re-Records (Taylor’s Version series) are all deliberate choices made by Ms. Swift. 

Millennials Spend $33 Billion On Their Own Toys. Why?

We all have fond memories of playing with toys when we were young. Millenials say: “why give up that feeling?” Hence the $33B industry of toys for grown-ups.

How James Bond Has Evolved & Stayed Relevant for 60 Years

Few movie characters are as iconic, controversial, contradictory, and enduring as James Bond. It doesn’t matter who’s playing him because you recognize the character immediately. Handsome man, sharp suit, smoking gun, vodka martini in hand, and an attractive woman on his arm.

Does the idea of marketing a business make you feel like a little kid wearing a big lab coat?

Join over 1,000 other mad scientists. Download our FREE Experimental Marketing Guide.

If you’re here for an education…

Want a crash course in small business marketing? Check out Start to Finish: Market Your Small Business for the First Time. Highlights include:

Small Business Marketing 101: This Is How You Start

Learning small business marketing is hard. In fact, running a small business, in general, is hard. Oftentimes it takes years of hard work and dedication before you even seen a dime in profit. You’re constantly learning new skills. With rapid learning comes discomfort, especially in areas we know little about. For many people, marketing is the worst. It doesn’t have to be.

Consumer Behavior 101: People are Weird, Markets are Weirder

Consumer behavior is the study of why and how people buy things. It’s a mix of psychology and economics, blown up on a massive scale. To understand it is the dream of prophets, wisemen, and hucksters.

This is How Consumer Decisions Work in Small Business

Consumer decisions can seem mysterious. Last week, I wrote at length about consumer behavior. How do we understand why consumers do what they do? Nowhere is consumer behavior more important than the decision-making process itself. After all, knowing how people make decisions will make your small business thrive!

These 8 Decision-Making Styles Decide How People Shop

Decision-making styles are different for every customer. Understanding why customers arrive at their decisions is crucial for your small business’s success. To know why someone makes a choice empowers you to create beautiful experiences for them. Crafting the right experiences for the right people, after all, is one of the goals of marketing.

The 7 Important Market Forces That Shape Small Business

As small business owners, we like to imagine ourselves immune to market forces. After all, we have the willpower to run the show. Why should we have to answer to anyone else? The truth, as always, is more complicated than that. We’re captains of ships in choppy waters, skilled and determined but at the mercy of our environments.

How to Find a Niche & Make Your Small Business Memorable

For many small business owners, finding a niche is a daunting task. For many of us, our small businesses are a form of self-expression, and focusing on small business marketing forces us to answer two deceptively complicated questions. Who is our target audience? How are we meeting their needs?

How to Craft a Small Business Marketing Strategy That Works

Crafting a small business marketing strategy can seem awfully complicated. Many business owners have to be convinced that marketing is worthwhile in the first place. Among the converts, many more struggle to choose a coherent philosophy of marketing, find a lucrative niche, or even simply understand their customers. Today, we’re going to take much of the theory we’ve discussed from the last several blog posts and talk about how to apply it.

A Crash Course in Market Research for Small Business

Building a small business for the first time is really difficult! You have to create a product or a service that’s perfect for your audience. Then you have to tell people you exist. These two tasks are the essence of marketing. While they sound simple, anyone who’s tried them knows how tricky and nuanced it can be.

This Is Why User Experience Makes & Breaks Businesses

As technology continues to improve, people will spend more and more time with products, systems, and services. This can be very good, too, since technology removes irritation and inconvenience from day-to-day life. But ultimately, systems need to feel like they’re made by humans for humans. In other words, it’s really important to provide a good user experience.

This is How You Provide a Great Customer Experience

Have you ever walked into a restaurant and waited forever to be seated, only to be treated rudely and have your food served cold? If so, it’s safe to say that you’ve had a bad customer experience. Odds are, you probably told others about it too. Maybe you even left a one-star review online!

Does the idea of marketing a business make you feel like a little kid wearing a big lab coat?

Join over 1,000 other mad scientists. Download our FREE Experimental Marketing Guide.