“As Russell Davies, the UK ad executive says, “A brand’s first job is to be interesting.”
Once you are interesting, every contact with every customer, supplier, and stakeholder becomes easier. When you look at how commodity products and services are differentiated from their competition, it always comes back to the successful ones being more interesting – usually in an unexpected way.
Yes, quality matters. Yes, price matters. Yes, all the stuff you learned in “B” school matters. But what matters most to your customers is that you are smarter, quirkier, cooler, and more determined than the next guy. Once you are able to project these human traits to the world, customers and prospects are drawn to you.
This is for the guys who still think that the only way to market is through explaining product benefits and price advantages. Because being more human and showing that you are different, with personality and purpose, is even more important.”
In the history of HYDLE.com… this ridiculous “TSOIGDH” entry marks my 999th public blog post since May of 2009 – When I started this crazy world of blogging ideas, thoughts and Genius vs. Not Genius intermanents and social media successes or failures.
So for the sake of getting google credit for it…
“TSOIGDH” = TURNING SHIT ON IT’S GOD DAMN HEAD
Turning shit on it’s god damn head is going to be my 1 single inspiration for the next 999 blogpost entries. I can’t wait to open up my connection layer for all my loyal readers… so I can start finding out who you actually are.
Cheers to 999!
Care more than you need to, more often than expected, more completely than the other guy.
No one reports liking Steve Jobs very much, yet he was as embraced as any businessperson since Walt Disney. Because he cared. He cared deeply about what he was making and how it would be used. Of course, he didn’t just care in a general, amorphous, whiny way, he cared and then actually delivered.
Politicians are held in astonishingly low esteem. Congress in particular is setting record lows, but it’s an endemic problem. The reason? They consistently act as if they don’t care. They don’t care about their peers, certainly, and by their actions, apparently, they don’t care about us. Money first.
Many salespeople face a similar problem–perhaps because for years they’ve used a shallow version of caring as a marketing technique to boost their commissions. One report by the National Association of Realtors found that more than 90% of all homeowners are never again contacted by their real estate agent after the contracts for the home are signed. Why bother… there’s no money in it, just the possibility of complaints. Well, the reason is obvious–you’d come by with cookies and intros to the neighbors if you cared.
Economists tell us that the reason to care is that it increases customer retention, profitability and brand value. For me, though, that’s beside the point (and even counter to the real goal). Caring gives you a compass, a direction to head and most of all, a reason to do the work you do in the first place.
It’s only two words, but it’s hard to think of a better mantra for the organization that is smart enough to understand the core underpinning of their business, as well as one in search of a reason for being. No need to get all tied up in subcycles of this leads to this which leads to that so therefore I care… Instead, there’s the opportunity to follow the direct and difficult road of someone who truly cares about what’s being made and who it is for.
We don’t have a telephone strategy. The telephone is a tool, a simple medium, and it’s only purpose is to connect us to interested human beings.
And then the internet comes along and it’s mysterious and suddenly we need an email strategy and a social media strategy and a web strategy and a mobile strategy.
No, we don’t.
It’s still people. We still have one and only one thing that matters, and it’s people.
All of these media are conduits, they are tools that human beings use to waste time or communicate or calculate or engage or learn. Behind each of the tools is a person. Do you have a story to tell that person? An engagement or a benefit to offer them?
Figure out the people part and the technology gets a whole lot simpler.
Change pricing dramatically
Redefine a service as a product (or vice versa)
Organize the disorganized, connect the disconnected
Alter the speed to market radically
Change the infrastructure, the rules or the flow of information
Give away what used to be expensive and charge for something else
Cater to the weird, bypassing the masses
Take the lead on ethics
(Or you could just wait for someone to tell you what they want you to do)
There are a million reasons to say no, but few reasons to stand up and say yes.
No requires just one objection, one defensible reason to avoid change. No has many allies–anyone who fears the future or stands to benefit from the status quo. And no is easy to say, because you actually don’t even need a reason.
No is an easy way to grab power, because with yes comes responsibility, but no is the easy way to block action, to exert the privilege of your position to slow things down.
No comes from fear and greed and, most of all, a shortage of openness and attention. You don’t have to pay attention or do the math or role play the outcomes in order to join the coalition that would rather things stay as they are (because they’ve chosen not to do the hard work of imagining how they might be).
And yet the coalition of No keeps losing. We live in a world of yes, where possibility and innovation and the willingness to care often triumph over the masses that would rather it all just quieted down and went back to normal.
Yes is the new normal. And just in time.