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How to use the rule of three to make memorable marketing

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rule of three

There has always been an allure around the rule of three. 

From three wise men, to the father, son, and the holy ghost to Jefferson’s famous lines: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

But why three? 

What is so important about this number in particular? 

It turns out that three is the smallest number required to make a pattern! 

And as a human being you are programmed to process information through pattern recognition. 

Everything from rhetoric to religion has been using this nifty little trick that makes their message stick. 

You’ve probably used it this week in a text conversation with your friends. 

WTF, LOL, OMG… 

Does that sound familiar? 

It’s everywhere! 

This is the Rule of Three. 

Which suggests things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. 

Aristotle himself even noted that things are easier to remember in groups of three.  

It’s one of the most prevalent principles of writing, storytelling, and presentations. 

So it’s no surprise that it can also be used as a great persuasive tool in your marketing arsenal. 

But how do you utilize the Rule of Three in your marketing? 

Well, that’s what The Copy Cartel is here to show you today. 

Ready, Set, Go! 

Slogans  

You can craft a catchy and memorable slogan for your company! Some of the biggest brands right now are using it to make their message stick and you could too. 

Here are a few you might be familiar with:

  • I’m lovin’ it
  • Where’s the beef 
  • M’m! M’m! Good!
  • Diamonds are forever
  • Black Lives Matter 
  • The Few. The Proud. The Marines
  • Breakfast of Champions
  • Taste the rainbow
  • Easy, breezy, beautiful…
  • Snap! Crackle! Pop!
  • That was easy 
  • It keeps going, going and going 
  • Yes We Can

They caught on for a reason.  

Presentations and Product launches 

Steve Jobs was in love with the rule of three. He applied the Rule of 3 in nearly every presentation and product launch.

He even said that Apple would be introducing “three” revolutionary products—a new iPod, a phone, and an Internet communications device.

Ultimately through repetition the audience figured out that the three revolutionary products Jobs was talking about was actually one. 

But it didn’t stop there. 

During the launch Jobs elaborated as his third device the Ipod would come in 3 sizes 16, 32, 64.

When Steve Jobs introduced the Ipad 2 to market he said it was “thinner, lighter, and faster” than the original. Utilizing the rule again but grouping together 3 adjectives. 

Coincidence? I think not… 

Steve Jobs was a marketing genius who was well versed in rhetoric and knew utilizing this rule would help people remember things. 

Storytelling 

It’s no secret that people love stories and stories can help you market your content. Stories help invoke emotion to make people feel something that inspires action to make them do something. 

Using copywriting formulas like Problem, Agitate, Solve or Cognition Affect Behaviour you can use stories to create chunks or content that are compelling, memorable, and persuasive. 

Some of the most memorable stories used the rule in their titles: 

  1. Three Ninjas
  2. Three little pigs 
  3. Three blind mice 

Ok, maybe not 3 Ninjas but that movie was the ‘G.O.A.T’ in my childhood so I had to give it a shoutout. 

The Rule of Three works in stories due to the presence of the short, memorable patterns that are easy to understand. 

So like Nike says…

Just do it! 

Cheers M8 

~J 

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John Mullinix

John Mullinix

I'm a father and Digital Marketing Fanatic. I enjoy helping brands grow and reach their sales goals by using copywriting, data driven marketing & conversion architecture.

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