Five Small Business Lessons from Yo Gabba Gabba

 I frequently watch Yo Gabba Gabba  on Nick Jr. with my boys. It’s a favorite show in our house. And, unlike other kids’ shows like Dora, Diego, The Wiggles, and countless others, it’s not completely annoying. It’s actually rather cool and funky with Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo giving doodling lessons and the surprisingly broad range of other guests that have included Jack Black, Mya, Tony Hawk and a bunch of rather hip bands. I even heard that one of my favorites Weird Al will be appearing soon!

Anyway, the other day as I was watching Yo Gabba Gabba, I realized that the show isn’t just entertaining for the preschool set and their parents. It actually delivers a bevy of small business lessons. Among these:

Have a Memorable Front Person
Yo Gabba Gabba’s most memorable component is certainly its host DJ Lance. With an orange jumpsuit, furry hat, bug-eye glasses, and a boom-box, he sets the groovy mood for the entire show. Without him, it might be just another kids’ program.

While business owners don’t have to wear polyester action suits like DJ Lance, they do need to have a certain amount of charisma and flair to capture the attention of potential customers. Personality and an outgoing nature can definitely come in handy at networking events, customer presentations, and throughout everyday life. You never know when and where you’ll meet your next customer, so being a little memorable and unique is a business development tool that can often be worth its weight in gold.

Don’t Be Afraid to Do Something Different
The creators of Yo Gabba Gabba didn’t set out to create a show that was like all of the others. Instead of bland characters and boring music, they mix musical segments with a very bizarre group of costumed characters, retro-looking animated sketches, art lessons, kids dancing to indie bands, and a variety of special guests.

As a business owner, it’s not your job to simply copy what your competitors are doing – even if they are finding success. You will ultimately achieve the best results if you can develop your own special take on what you do. No, you don’t have to revolutionize your industry, but having a unique perspective on what you do and a better way to do it might be the difference between being lost in the shuffle and being the one who stands out.

Broaden Your Customer Base
Yo Gabba Gabba is, no doubt, intended for kids ages 3 to 6. However, I enjoy it, and so do lots of grownups. And, I’ve read that it’s a favorite amongst the college crowd. I’m not surprised. It’s entertaining, and I imagine that during a “kegger”, it’s even more so. Their audience is much broader than a typical kids’ show, and because of this, they have strong ratings and have even won a Daytime Emmy.

It’s never a good idea to focus exclusively on a very narrow target market. By doing so, you are just limiting your ability to sell. Why not reach out beyond your comfort zone and see who is responsive to what you’re offering? There are many more opportunities out there for those who can see beyond the obvious.

Align Yourself with Celebrities
Definitely part of the charm of Yo Gabba Gabba is watching the celebrities sing silly songs and dance. Of course, it also adds to the show’s credibility. If Elijah Wood is ok with doing a puppet dance during the Dancey Dance segment, I guess it must be a really good show.

While you might not be able to get Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to endorse your product or service, you can align yourself with local business owners, organizers of networking groups, or community leaders. Having this extra element of credibility can take you far with your business.

Have a Good Sense of Humor
I can’t help but laugh when “Party in My Tummy” and “Don’t Bite Your Friends” are sung on the show. And, many of the other songs and skits are just as comical. Dora never makes me laugh This is why I’ll actually sit and watch Yo Gabba Gabba with my boys, but prefer to be doing other things when they’re watching the irritating explorer journey with Boots the Monkey and Swiper.

Customers will almost always prefer to work with a business owner who is jovial and has a good sense of humor. Who doesn’t want to have a good laugh every now and then?  Hey, and maybe if you break out into an enthusiastic rendition of “Party in My Tummy” after a business lunch, you’ll seal the deal with a new order!

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Five Small Business Lessons from Yo Gabba Gabba

  1. val sutherland

    I have enjoyed that silly show for years with the boys. It is very diverse in what it does, shows and teaches and I love the surprise guests. Is that the ones who made it into the super bowl ads?

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