iStock_000000499762XSmallBorn of individual and collaborative ideas, motivations, inventions, and planning forethought, mystery is one of the greatest virtues woven into a business’ character. It is impossible to find an employee or company operating with complete sureness of what will happen in the months and years to come. The pessimist in all of us is frightened to think that tomorrow can be a worse day than today, and the optimist hopes tomorrow is better. It is this conflict of emotion that makes for marketing magic!

World-class marketers know that a brand without mystery losses value quickly, whereas a brand that carries mystery also carries higher awareness, intrigue, and a tinge of excitement. The CEO of global advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi compares this idea to a magic trick before the secret is revealed, and then after — “One minute you believed you had seen the impossible. The next, you were irritated to find out how easily you had been fooled.”

You can bet that companies are leveraging mystery to gain a leg up in the market. For the past month Google has been in the news for refusing to comment on an enormous floating barge they built off the coast of San Francisco Bay. The outpouring of interest that came with the story was impressive from a branding standpoint. Speculations grew like wildfire until last week when Google revealed that the barge will be an interactive facility where people can learn about new technology. Before, news anchors were telling viewers the floating barge could be a party boat for Google employees, or even a world-class space center. Now, the mystery is lost and we see this development for what it is. Certainly the experience was fun while it lasted.

How do you feel mystery plays into your business and marketing dealings? Leave a comment and let us know.

-Lee Sumner, Research Analyst