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What can business learn from Laurel and Yanny?

Lee Kenny, Managing Director at Snowflake Media
Lee Kenny, Managing Director at Snowflake Media

The online world has been going crazy over the past few weeks trying to answer one question. No, not where will Harry and Megan go on honeymoon, but “Do you hear Laurel or Yanny?”

If you haven’t seen it, it’s a robotic audio clip online where people listing to the same clip are either hearing the name Laurel or the name Yanny. There appears to be some science behind it, but I’ll let you research that and make up your own mind! As you’d expect from this column, lets see how your business can benefit from lessons learned from the clip!

Lesson 1 Different perspectives

Who’s right? The Laurel crowd or those that hear Yanny? They both are. Just like 2 colleagues can be in a meeting together and interpret what was said in very different ways. When communicating with clients you should be aware that they may not receive your message as you intended. Therefore be prepared to look at things from a different perspective rather than stand your ground stubbornly.

Read: Sometimes you just need to rip it up and start again
Lesson 2 Grab those opportunities now

Within hours of the auditory illusion becoming a “thing”. Entrepreneurs were selling cups, tv shirts and other goodies to capitalise on a very fleeting opportunity. Just like Pokemon Go was big for a few weeks, sometimes do you don’t have long to align yourself or your product to them, so being nimble and fast is essential.

Lesson 3: You don’t have to be right

Too often in business we play it safe, try and appeal to everyone, however as you can see with this audio clip it is ok for people to have differing opinions. The success is not down to the fact it’s an interesting piece of content. It is a success because it has caused people to be divided and fight their case with passion. While some celebrities court controversy for the sake of it, you can probably be a little more creative about targeting certain demographic segments without trying to please everyone.

Read: What should small business talk about on Social Media?
Lesson 4: Video content allows more reach

Word of mouth played a part in the popularity of this clip without a doubt. However if this had simply been an file on someones phone or a written email explaining it, it wouldn’t have been as successful. Someone took this clip, turned it in to a visual video clip and that really helped it spread like wildfire. So many businesses are hesitant to produce videos or use facebook live when it is relatively simple and painless to do so. While your first video may not go “viral” you will be seen by more people so give it a shot today!

In our house we are 50/50. The children Yanny, Liz & I hear Laurel. Thankfully we are all right, what do you hear?