Here are the two most powerful things you can ever say:

1) I love you.

2) This gun is loaded.

This post is about motivation, or more specifically, how to motivate people. How to get people to do what you want them to do. It can apply to your marketing message as well as your kids.

When you think about it, in life we’re either running toward something we want, or running away from something we don’t want. The former we can think of as desire; the latter we can think of as fear. These two elements are the driving force behind all successful communications.

Apple is probably better than anyone else at marketing with desire. Think about the latest iPhone ads, where Siri is helping Samuel Jackson get ready for date night, or helping a young couple make a cross country road trip.

And then there are those Rosland Capital commercials with William Devane imploring viewers to buy gold to save themselves from financial crisis, budget deficits, political upheaval, unstable governments, et al.

Rosland Capital Commercial

Obviously both tactics work, or we wouldn’t still be seeing them.

How are you using desire or fear (or perhaps both)  in your marketing message? How does your brand promise deliver on your customers’ desires, or protect them from their fears?

Please think about these things as you’re developing your message. I’m scared to think of what might happen if you don’t.