By now, you and nearly the entire world has had the opportunity to see and hear about the viral video for Susan Boyle, the dowdy-looking Scottish woman who appeared as a contestant on Britain's Got Talent, and shocked everyone with her incredible voice. But what's even more incredible is the speed at which over 100 million people had the chance to witness Susan's life-changing viral video performance. That's not just viral video marketing, folks. That's freakin' pandemic!

What's all the hubbub, bub?
Why did millions of people feel the need to "pass along" the viral video clip of Susan belting out I Dreamed a Dream, to judges and several hundred snickering onlookers (until they actually heard her sing, that is)? Because it was a "pay it forward" type of thing. This performance was unexpected. Different. People thought that because Susan was plain and pudgy with bushy eyebrows, she couldn't possibly have "the voice of an angel," as Piers put it. But her powerful, melodious voice shocked them. And shamed them. Then instantaneously transformed them from taunters to screaming fans. Yes, Susan was different. Because she didn't have the painted face or trendy hairstyle or svelte body of a supermodel that most of us expect of our celebrities. But she was good. No, not just good, extraordinary! And we wanted everyone to share in that victory. It literally became a gift to pass along that little viral video clip to our friends and family.

So, what does that mean for me?
To be a valid competitor in today's marketing environment, your brand has to have a unique difference; a position that boldly emblazons one thing in the mind of your customers. Coke is "the original." Wal-Mart is "low prices." Susan is "exceptional talent from a very ordinary, well, Susan." She's not one of those cookie cutter, syrupy-sweet, teen pop stars. We can relate to her because she offers a difference that's impactful and meaningful. People "connect" with a brand like they connected with Susan. Does your brand offer a difference that's relevant to customers?

Traveling at the speed of sound
Through new media viral video marketing venues such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, Susan was seen and heard by millions virtually overnight. over 100 million in just a few days! Proof that with today's technology and online tools, a lot of people can see your message in a very short time frame. If you're not taking advantage of the power of viral video marketing or social media, you could be missing out on a lot of business activity.

Unique. Relevant. Fast. Anything else?
The creative execution has got to be good. If Susan opened her mouth and a bunch of sour notes poured out, do you think the viral video clip would've received the attention it did? Certainly not. It's the same with your brand message. It must be crafted with excellence. And executed with a media plan that strategically targets your customers. And if it hits them in the heart. well, look what happened to Susan Boyle.

Jeff Monter is Innis Maggiore's Principal Creative Services.