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Articles filed in: Marketing

Giving A Damn Is Seriously Underrated

My boys had a sick rat last week. At the vet’s she was weighed and had her chest listened to. The vet sent her home with an antibiotic and instructions. If she didn’t get better very quickly the outlook wasn’t good.

At ten the following morning I got a call from the vet nurse. She asked how Luna was doing. If she was breathing any easier, or eating anything yet and if we had been able to get the medicine into her. She reminded me that it was okay to call back if we had any concerns. We were having this conversation about a $12 rat, that had another year of life in her either way and I just can’t stop thinking, (and talking) about it.

Nobody called the day after my son had a biopsy taken from his neck to see if he had a rare tumour, (thankfully he didn’t). Nobody called when they lost his school book order, or when we were without Internet for two weeks.

When nobody calls we interpret that as nobody cares. When they do call it blows us away and we tell ten friends.

That’s your opportunity.

Image by rofanator.

What If Post-it Told A Different Story?

Everyone knows what Post-its do. You know they come in every colour, all sorts of shapes and sizes, easy peel and super sticky. And yet Post-it keeps telling you that stuff in its marketing. They tell you the things you already know about features and benefits. Stories that don’t mean much, that any brand could tell. The what not the why.

What if Post-it told the story from the inside out? What if 3M tapped into the meaning being made with its products, by showing you how and why Post-its are part of your story too?

We don’t simply want to benefit from the products we use, we want to believe in them too.

*Bonus brand strategy for 3M and Post-it*
Sign up for an account on Instagram and check out the 5,000+ stories being told about how people believe in your products there.

Image By Lia C

How To Get Million Dollar Marketing For Just £3

The UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s just scored millions of dollars worth of marketing for £3 and the price of a postage stamp, by simply employing someone who gave a damn.

This is a heart warming story of a customer service employee who used his initiative, didn’t behave like a cog and treated a three year old girl with empathy.

What’s most incredible about this story is not that Chris did such a great job of sending out a caring human response, or that Sainsbury’s changed the name of their bread following a letter from a toddler, it’s that we’re so completely blown away by this. That it’s something so rare and precious the whole world remarks on it.

The truth is we get the sense that most businesses don’t give a damn anymore. My internet provider is quite happy to offer me a tech appointment in two weeks at the end of a 56 minute call (my third). We now consider this kind of disservice business as usual.

Stories like the ‘Giraffe Bread’ one and people like Chris who answered Lily’s letter, are so rare that they stand out a mile. And there’s your opportunity. In this day and age it might be harder to earn attention but it’s not that hard to be the best thing since sliced bread.
Image by Kit Logan.

The Secret To Creating Products People Buy

The secret to the success of Facebook, Pampers, Innocent drinks, Instagram, Basecamp, Little Miss Match, Marie Forleo.com and on and on, comes down to one thing. The ability to stand in the customer’s shoes and see the world from where they are at.

Have you questioned what you client’s worldview is lately?

  • What’s important to your customers right now?
  • What are they excited about?
  • What are they struggling with?
  • What would they kill to know?
  • What stops them achieving their dreams?
  • What do they crave or covet?
  • Why do they need you?
  • What will they gladly pay for?
  • How can you be part of their journey today?
  • What might they need tomorrow?

Your business is built on the foundations of your story. Great products and services are created by understanding the essence of that story.

Image by Noukka Signe.

Even The Big Guys Are Guessing

A couple of days ago Cadbury did their first product launch on Google+. The launch was an experiment, their best guess and they went with it. Even they don’t know for sure what will work and what won’t. Yes, they pay people to help them with the process of being more sure, but they never really know until the idea is out there.

There are no guarantees, no way of knowing one hundred percent if you’ve got the right answer. Will that idea that’s rattling around your head work? There’s only one way to know and that’s to press play, to hit publish, to set up your stall, to take your first feedback and that’s the opportunity. You have the chance to try and to fail or to succeed, if not this time, the next one, or the one after that.

How will you ever know unless you work hardest of all on getting it out there? Unless your idea is a revolutionary new pacemaker, there’s room to make your very best guess and there’s still time to change things tomorrow, after you launch.

Image by Mike Small.

The Apple Store, Belonging And Love

What’s the one thing you never find at an Apple Store? That thing you probably found in your hotel room when you checked in. The poorly expressed intention to customers, that guarantees they will never come back. Oh, and it’s most likely laminated and taped up in several places.

Ah yes….. a list of rules.

I found that list pasted four times around our ‘holiday getaway’ recently. Every poorly considered word told us what we couldn’t do in the outdoor spa and what we must do. Every time we saw that note we knew that we weren’t trusted and didn’t belong.

The Apple Store is a place without rules. No glass cases. No velvet ropes between the product and the customer. Everybody’s welcome. That’s part of the reason it’s the busiest store in your city. Every single contact point invites you to experience and start getting intimate. To explore, to touch, to play, to linger and belong. There are no barriers to intimacy. And that’s exactly what your customers want from you.

Your customers want to know they belong

Before they can allow your designs, copy, books and products to belong in their lives, they need to sense your intention. They want to trust you and feel that you trust them too.

Your clients want to be welcomed like a friend and wooed live a lover. They can feel your intention at every point of contact. It’s your job to communicate that with all your heart and soul. Doesn’t matter if you sell shoes, coffee, design, copy or connection. Making rules is lazy. Building trust and expressing intentions isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

Have you found ways to create intimacy with your clients either online or offline? Tell me more about the businesses and brands that you love and how they do that?

Image by Dimas Barquilla.

Take People Where They Want To Go

The products that sell, made by the companies that succeed wildly have one thing in common.

They take people to where they want to go.

It’s an elegant business philosophy. The ultimate brand strategy.

Neither push nor pull. Just pure magnetism.

Understand where your customers want to go, then find ways to take them there.

Image by Victor Nuno.

Change How People Feel Not What They Do

Every marketing decision you make should be prefaced with this question;
“How will it make her feel?”

Of course you want people to do, but you need them to feel first. When people feel they act. The feeling is what leads to the doing.

Think about the websites and cafes you love to visit, the book titles that attract your attention and the things that you own or covet. They have found a way to tell a story that short-circuits the connection to your heart.

It turns out that changing hearts not just minds, is a great business strategy.

Image by gak.

Knowing For Sure

What you often want is a guarantee. The sure fire thing. The one that cannot fail. You will ask, how will I know for sure? What’s definitely going to stick? You will question if you are putting the cart before the horse, then try to work out how ‘most people in your shoes’, put horses first to produce a winning product. That’s the human reaction to uncertainty and it’s also what suffocates great ideas.

The best ideas are born, from the uncertainty. Most people, in any shoes build a winning product by getting over the fear. They just start. There are no guarantees. You need to be okay with that. Your certainty must come from knowing that you want to bring something great into the world. Take that knowing and use as the catalyst for doing.

Without action in the midst of uncertainty there would be no Instagram, Discovr, Blueberry Basil Pops or Field Guide To Now.

Once you start wondering about ‘people in your shoes’ and horses versus carts, the idea stops being important enough to matter.

Wonder just enough, then go do.

Image by today is a good day.

Something For Everyone

Pineapple Chili flavour ice lollies aren’t for everyone. And plenty of people hated Go The F**k To Sleep, which became a best seller by delighting parents with a particular worldview.

If everything was created for the market of everyone, there would be no room for art by Banksy, t-shirts by Threadless or $500 beats by dr dre.

Your job is to tell the best story you can to the people who want to hear it. To surprise, delight and bring joy to those people and to gently close the door on the people who don’t want to listen. Don’t worry about converting the life long Egg McMuffin eater to your Green Juice detox regime.

Unsubscribers, critics and naysayers are a gift. Say a mental thanks to them for saving you the job of working out who your right people are. Then go out and do everything in your power to woo the people who matter.

Image by Gavin Golden.