Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

“I’m just going to wait until all the facts are in…”

All the facts are never in. We don’t have all the facts on the sinking of the Titanic, on the efficacy of social media or on whether dogs make good house pets. We don’t have all the facts on hybrid tomatoes, global warming or the demise of the industrial age, either.

The real question isn’t whether you have all the facts. The real question is, “do I know enough to make a useful decision?” (and no decision is still a decision).

If you don’t, then the follow up question is, “What would I need to know, what fact would I need to see, before I take action?”

If you can’t answer that, then you’re not actually waiting for all the facts to come in.

 

Seth Godin

Sometimes, your organization will be tempted (or forced) to offer some of your customers less than they’ve received in the past. Perhaps you need to close a local store so you can afford to open a better one a few miles away. Or reroute a bus line to serve more customers, while inconveniencing a few. Or maybe you want to replace a perfectly good free mapping application with a new, defective one so you can score points against your hometown rival in your bid for mobile domination.

A few things to keep in mind:

1. When possible, don’t downgrade. People are way more focused on what you take away than what you give them. Many times, particularly with software, it’s pretty easy to support old (apparently useless) features that a few rabid (equals profitable, loyal and loud) customers really depend on.

2. When it’s not possible to avoid a downgrade, provide a bridge or alternatives, and mark them clearly and discount them heavily. In the case of Apple maps on the new iphone, it would have been really easy to include links or even pre-installed apps for other mapping software. It’s sort of silly to make the Lightning adapter a profit center. When you cancel the all you can eat buffet, be generous with the gift cards given to your best customers.

3. If you can’t build a bridge, own up. Make it clear, and apologize. Not after an outcry, but before it even happens. The genius Francois at the Grand Central Apple store insisted that my hassles with the Music Match feature in iTunes were merely my “opinion,” and all the steps I had to go through to move the audio books I’m reviewing from one device to another were in fact good things. It’s silly to expect your customers to care about your corporate priorities or to enjoy your corporate-speak. If you’ve taken something away from them, point it out, admit it and try to earn a chance to delight them again tomorrow.

Apologizing to your best users is significantly more productive than blaming them for liking what you used to do.

Seth Godin

Wildeyeq

The Paint Job Method

The brand gurus have left your office after a 4 hour long strategy session, and after filling your minds and ears with new found vigour  inspired you to rebrand, rebrand and rebrand!! So you get your own team together and charge them to go out and find the best new colours that depict strength, loyalty, innovation, consistency and every new age adjective or noun you can muster. To the mix, you throw in a new logo as well, “one that is in line with what the brand represents” and put in a call to the guys at Dulux; “40 litres of your best silk finish royal blue paint for our head office please”. And the rush begins as you rebrand, rebrand and rebrand. But are you on the right course? What is it that your brand truly represents? Is your brand personality or character in line with all the new age buzz words and fancy colors and shapes you have put into the creative representation of your brand or are you just going devil-may-care into the market with a brand representation that you and your team do not have the wherewithal to defend if questions arise?

What is your brand character anyways? Why is it any different from what your colours and logos represent, why does it transcend the scope of the visual-intangible to the level of visual/non-visual-tangible? Your brand character/personality is a set of human characteristics that are attributed to your brand name. Something to which your consumers can relate; and your brand can increase its brand equity by staying consistent to these values. This is the added-value that a brand gains, aside from its functional benefits.

Five main types of brand personalities exist: excitement, sincerity, ruggedness, competence and sophistication. Here are examples of traits for the different types of brand personalities:

Excitement: carefree, spirited, youthful
Sincerity: genuine, kind, family-oriented, thoughtful
Ruggedness: rough, tough, outdoors, athletic
Competence: successful, accomplished, influential, a leader
Sophistication: elegant, prestigious, pretentious

Once consumers can identify with any of these traits as is represented by your brand or organization, then they are most willing to part with their money to pay for your goods and services.

But herein lies the big question; is your brand true to what it represents? If customers remove that fine coat of new paint will they see that underneath all the razzmatazz is a poor organizational structure, an internal discord with the values of say fairness that your company encapsulates? If they see that in as much as your brand portrays innovation and growth, the systems that exist for your staff to bring out these innovative ideas and products are at best circa 1960, then big problem. But we see this every day.

Charity they say begins at home, and what is most important in your brand-building (or rebuilding) efforts is that you must walk the talk. You must ensure that before the new business cards and letter heads are ordered, that you have engaged in serious soul searching, ensuring that you do not shoot yourself in the foot by choosing a brand personality that you cannot stay true to.

Let rebranding start inside out. Build the ideals that you want your brand to represent and be known for, from the very structure and foundation on which your company or organization is built. From the driver to the CEO, ensure that every member of your team stands for what your brand represents as they engage customers and clients and if possible as they go about on their own personal lives. The very essence of rebranding is to ensure that the outside stays consistent with the new found inner convictions that you have paid a ton of cash to hear from the brand strategist and gurus.

Drop the paint bucket, call your team together, and maybe as you all sit in a circle and sing Kumbaya you will find the values and ideals that you can infuse and consider as you rebuild a new corporate image on a foundation that will not be found wanting come whatever storm may arise on that perilous ocean called the market place.

SETH GODIN: Overstimulated

Posted: September 27, 2012 in Summons
Tags: , , ,

Time to pay attention to the Weber-Fechner Law.

It’s easier to tell the difference between two bags of flour that are three ounces apart in weight when one weighs a pound, than it is to tell the difference between two bags that are three ounces apart when one weighs twenty pounds.

It’s easier to tell the difference between two flashlights that are 6 lumens apart when one is just 2 lumens bright than it is to tell them apart when one is 200 lumens.

The more stimulus you’re getting (light, sound, pressure, delight, sadness) the less easily you can notice a small change. That seems obvious, but it’s worth saying.

If you’re entering a market filled with loudness, it’s harder to be noticed, even if the incremental benefit you offer seems large to you. If you’re trying to delight existing customers, the more delighted they already are, the more new delight you need to offer to turn heads.

One more reason to seek out those that are both interested and underserved.

 

SETH GODIN

There’s no doubt that it’s easier to start an organization (or a project) around specific.

The more specific the better. When you have a handful of ideal potential clients and a solution that is customized and perfect for them, it’s far easier to get started than when you offer everything to everyone.

Not only that, but the specific makes it easier to be remarkable, to overdeliver and to create conversations, because you know precisely what will delight the user.

Once you master your specific, you can do the work to become general, because you have cash flow and reputation and experience.

The flipside of this is interesting: if you have somehow, against all odds, managed to succeed in the general, the move to specific is almost effortless. If you can change your reflex action that consistently pushes you to mass, the market you’ve chosen will embrace the fact that you, the general one, are now truly focused on them, the specifics.

Seth Godin

Wildeyeq

When I meet you or your company or your product or your restaurant or your website, I desperately need to put it into an existing category, because the mental cost of inventing a new category for every new thing I see is too high.

I am not alone in this need. In fact, that’s the way humans survive the onslaught of newness we experience daily.

Of course, you can refuse to be categorized. You can insist that it’s unfair that people judge you like this, that the categories available to you are too constricting and that your organization and your offering are too unique to be categorized.

If you make this choice, the odds are you will be categorized anyway. But since you didn’t participate, you will be miscategorized, which is far worse than being categorized.

So choose.

What is this thing? What are you like? Are you friend or foe, flake or leader, good deal or ripoff, easy or hard, important or not? Are you destined for the trusted category or the other one?

Make it easy to categorize you and you’re likely to end up in the category you are hoping for.

By Seth Godin

Wildeyeq

Cities work because they create collisions between and among diverse individuals. Ideas go to cities to be born and to be spread, and the chaos that bubbles just under the surface feeds those ideas. The web, at its most effective, is a digital city, a place where access is equal and ideas race and connect and morph. 

If you want to find creative work, go to a city. If you want to find inspiration, expose yourself to diversity, not a bubble. The city is chaotic, without much of a filter.

The soapbox, on the other hand, is the amplified voice of a single speaker. The soapbox is the newspaper with subscribers, the Twitter account with followers, the blog with readers. A soapbox cannot ever scale to be like the city, because given the chance, the mob, attracted by the attention that comes with the soapbox, will grab the microphone and create nothing but noise. Open mic night is an interesting concept, but it never sells out Madison Square Garden.

Everyone deserves their own soapbox. The web has handed everyone a microphone and said, “here, speak up.” But everyone doesn’t deserve their own audience. That’s something that’s earned. Once you’re on your soapbox, by all means take inspiration from the city. Learn from the diverse voices you hear. But your soapbox is yours, and the people who listen to you came to hear you, not everyone.

Access isn’t really the issue when it comes to soapboxes. The issue is whether cultural and social forces will further push those with something to say (which is every resident of the city, which is all of us) to patiently and clearly say it, to build the audience that they are able to.

Your soapbox might be the reputation you have in the comments section of a favorite blog, or your page on a social networking site. It might be those that listen to you in the conference room of your organization. But it’s yours.

For the first time in the history of media, those that are able to consume the media are also able to create it. That’s a powerful (and thus frightening) choice.

One day soon, it’s possible that corporate interests will impose barriers on soapbox access, all in an effort to reclaim power for themselves. Until then, the race is on to build your tribe, to tirelessly connect and to earn an audience that wants to hear from you.

 

By Seth Godin

Seth Godin, called  “America’s Greatest Marketer,” is a Speaker, Writer and a new age innovator.

Post appeared originally on sethgodin.typepad.com