“The secret is respecting the consumer.
You are interrupting their life. All advertising is unwanted, so if you’re going to crash the party, bring some champagne with you.”
Bob Thacker, senior VP-marketing and advertising at OfficeMax
Do AT&T executives experience dropped calls when they use their cell phones?
Do travel agency execs ever try to book their own tickets online?
Do Doctors go to a Doctor, wait in the waiting room for 30 minutes to receive 5 minutes of medical attention?
Does Michael Dell order his laptop by calling 1-800-WWW-DELL and sit on hold for 30 minutes?
Southwest and JetBlue execs fly their airline all the time and it shows in the execution of all the basics that seem to elude their competitors.
It is not your customers job to help you raise the bar far beyond their expectations. It is YOURS. Ironically, delivering just the “Perfect Basic” of your business with creativity and innovation is FAR beyond their expectations.
Be the cell phone company that focuses on calls that never drop.
Be the travel agency that does something extra on every trip that makes each one an amazing experience.
Be the PC retailer that has really knowledgeable people answering the phones in 3-5 rings.
Be the Doctor that always takes patients on time and spends enough time with them to dramatically improve their total health.
(Fill in a description of the “Perfect Basic” for your business here)
Great businesses should posses the qualities/attributes of a great person. The kind of person that you want to be around. Everyone knows a person like that (I hope) but do you know a Company like that? Is it your own? People are intrigued and attracted to great personality. Great personality keeps them engaged. And you are selling to people…Aren’t you?
Love, passion, energy, curiosity, compassion, guts, big ideas, creativity, humor, honesty, fun, exploration, resilience, persistence….
How many of these feel like YOUR business? Did they at one time but now… Not so much?
What is the unqiue personality of your business? What are the ways you let people see the personality of your business? What new things could you put out there that would allow them to experience it?
Too many businesses are stuck focusing on their logo, their web site and their marketing materials when they do not have anything compelling to say. And so none of those materials deliver on what you hoped to get from them. We may all like to tell stories about companies with great personalities (Zappos comes quickly to mind) but it takes guts to take the time and figure out what the personality of your business is and even more to put it out there for people to meet. Admiring Zappos is great but you can’t copy them. But you can do your own thing if you are willing to do the hard work it takes to unlock the personality trapped within your existing business.
Once you do, many more people will be drawn closer to your business but just as many will be put off and move away. And so, with this truth, businesses choose some middle road. Choosing every word so carefully that they do not turn anybody on or off. And their business floats along like a sail boat hoping for the wind to stay constant. It never does.
You know what it feels like when you are finally being yourself? Your business should be no different.