To truly engage your audience today, you can’t tell them what to think or what to do. You have to show them. And make them feel it. Imagine Nike doing pop-up ads, eBlasts, and live announcer reads shouting, “Buy our high-performance shoes NOW!!”

Instead, what Nike has done for the past 35 years is emotionally connect to athletes and wannabes in ways that let them know, “Hey, we get you.” In doing so, it has built a community of millions who strive to put down the chips and guacamole and “just do it” and “find greatness.”

But it’s a lot easier to engage people when you’re selling sneakers, right?

If Allstate can make insurance compelling, if Ragu can make pasta sauce provocative (thanks to a little childhood trauma), if we can make engineers seem somewhat human and almost cool (forgive the self back pat), you can develop groundbreaking, sticky ideas in your category, too.

Sticky what?

You know, ideas that stick with you long after you turn off the TV or log off the laptop. Ideas that can make you say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Ideas you can’t learn at Harvard Business School because there aren’t any formulas for them or trademarked processes with fancy names. Ideas that can turn negatives like being number two in the rent-a-car industry or being a small, ugly, cheap German car into positive brand attributes that resonate with millions of people. Ideas that can make you pay $4 for burnt brown water that comes in a cup with a green mermaid on it. Ideas that you “like” and share with 20 friends on a Wednesday morning.

Ideas that are so powerful, they don’t just build sales—they build factories. Now that’s sticky.

In summary, it’s time to say “bye” now to “BUY NOW!!!”