I love to post quotes on my twitter feed as it can inspire others, provide tips, or just sometimes brighten someones day.   The quote I posted on Twitter the other day got a much larger response than any others I’ve posted so far.  It proved to be quite popular and was re-tweeted many times that I was aware of, and contains a hidden marketing message.

The quote is by one of my favorite people to learn about – Albert Einstein.

Here is what he said:

“If you can’t explain it to a six-year old you don’t fully understand it yourself.”


The more I thought about it the more I realized how this can be applied to marketing strategy. After all, you must fully understand something in order to break it down into its simplest form and communicated it in a way that is easy to understand.


Here’s another marketing strategy example from 3M:

Some time ago I took my then six-year old to the Outdoor Retailer Show.  She was playing the role of a junior reporter and was trying to learn how science was used in products created for the outdoor industry.

We stopped at several booths and explained to the manufacturers reps what she was doing and they would try to explain to her what they did.

Some of the them bombed horribly.  They used technical jargon, big words, and made it so boring.


There was one booth that did it right.

It was the folks at 3M.

This is how it went:

The representative asked if she had ever seen a duck get out of the water?  She explained, “Yes, we used to have ducks. But we had to give them away…” He listened patiently as she explained to him her duck story.

He then said something like this, “Did you notice that the water beaded up on the ducks feathers? What I mean is that the water looked like little beads on the ducks feathers.  When the water did that it stayed up on the feathers, and rolled right off the duck.  The water didn’t get down to the ducks skin, and the duck was able to stay dry.”

“We’ll that’s what we do.  We put stuff in the fabric of clothes so that people can stay dry when they play out in the snow.”

He then asked, “Do you like to go sledding?  Do you wear a snow suite to do that?”  And finally, “Does your jeans get wet under your snow suit?”

When she replied yes he laughed and said, “Well then you’re not wearing a snow suit made with our special way of making fabric.”

He then gave her a bottle of stuff to take home and experiment with, and to water-proof her snow suit with.

That’s not all he explained to her that day. She got to experience the effects of their heat repelling materials, and the chemicals that reflect the light and “make it easier to see runners at night.”

They fed her muffins and orange juice.  And made it an excellent educational experience and one I am sad my other kids missed.  In the end it also proved to be the prefect story for the popular quote, and an unforeseen opportunity for some free publicity.

The make some great marketing strategy examples:

Here’s how you can apply the marketing lessons learned from Albert Einstein and 3M to your business:

  • Do not use technical jargon when trying to sell a product.
  • Do not use words that only people in your industry would know.  For example, if you are in network marketing do you use words like binary, and roll-up.
  • Explain the benefits of the features of your product.
  • Do not use words you use make you sound like an elitist, because you use the big words no one understands.
  • Keep your presentations interesting. Presentations can get boring because they are just to difficult to get listen to.

What can you do to break down your message in a way that is easy to understand at all levels?

I’d love to hear what you think!  Please join in the conversation.