Yo has captured our attention, and it's pretty obvious to me why.
In case you don't know about Yo, let me explain. It's an app, where you can send them an audio message that simply says Yo.
Even the screens, and the UI/UX are very simplistic. I've read that it only took the creators 8 hours to put the app together. At last count, over 50,00 people are using the app, sending out over 4 million Yos. That was before all the crazy hype and the announcement that the Yo creators have raised upwards of a million dollars.
But why? How can something so ridiculous be taking off all of a sudden (its been in market for two months, but has recently exploded, but still).
I'd argue that the same principles that guide great content marketing are very relevant to the "Yo" success.
1. Yo Kept it Simple
Is your messaging simple? Yo is simple. Within two taps you can send out your message. And the message itself is so simple, and yes, as the app suggests on install, Yo means different things to different people.
2. Yo Knew their Audience
In Yo's case their audience came out of utility. They developed the app to solve a problem that they had internally and thought others may find useful. They needed to get someone's attention on a regular basis in their office. They needed a word that spoke to that person. One simple word that captured their audience's attention. They were also smart enough to know that the word of the app was Yo, not "Hey come here" or "Dave, we want to ask you a question" etc. There will be numerous knock-offs over the coming weeks, but Yo, in their opinion was exactly right because they knew their initial audience's sophistication.
3. Yo Evoked Emotion
Listen, Yo is not going to turn the world on its head, or necessarily transform the way we instant message. Why I think it works is that it plays on emotion. It's fun, it makes you smile, laugh, giggle etc. It resonates with some of us, because that's all it does. While Yo is a fad, the point is that all fads play with our emotion, get us hyped, psyched and excited, capture our attention and then we move away from them. Kudos to the creators of Yo for capturing our attention, and our emotion.
Listen, it's hard to come up with a winner every time, or one that will last forever, but I'm steadfast that a few guiding principles help build brand and awareness. We all relate to products and stories that speak to our head and heart simply. That is why over the coming days, Yo will continue to explode, and then yes, potentially fade into the sunset as quickly as it sky-rocketed.