May 14, 2013
Ever since I was an activist teenager rebelling against the world and myself, I have been a sucker for change and companies- my definition of business unusual. I guess it was one of the things I learned most from hanging mentally out with Naomi Klein and Kalle Lasn and staying a whole summer in super rebellic Montreal, at that point in time where you could actually buy a coffin up there to sleep in (hello electronic goth days!). But I can get into total handclapping spasm if a company actually does something to better the world around them, or better themselves to be a larger part of the world around them. And I can as quickly grasp my pen and paper and write columns to the local newspaper if I think they are doing something wrong. Like when I was a teenager, I got so furious because the first thing you see when you enter my hometown Helsingør on top of a hill suddenly wasn’t the beautiful coast of Sweden but a gigantic McDonald’s sign (that was my first column and my mother vetoed me sending it to the local newspaper).
When I was a kid, if the teacher asked us to draw a company or a business we would draw a factory with smoke coming out of the chimney and wastewater coming out of a pipe in a lake and a couple of fish with x’ed out eyes (so they were dead). I wonder what people would draw now if you asked them to draw a company. Some would draw brands. But one problem that a lot of companies encounter is that they are not relatable. This is a HUGE internal problem for a company doing business in a world where business is largely personal and social. I see these companies as standing on the sideline of a football match saying “hey, why won’t you play with us?” and the companies and people playing shouts back “Because we don’t know you well enough”.
We all know that the conditions for business have changed. From business as usual to business unusual. Today the pace of society has made it hard for companies to brand themselves, not only on the aspect of technological pace but also more about how our buying behaviors changed – largely because of the internet and the closeness that social media has brought us together as overall societies. You can’t really do a standalone brand value chain anymore because it has become so incredibly disruptive.
When I get lucky and get hired into a brand brainstorming session, an advisor role or a concept building role (which could happen more you business people out there with a lot of money!) with a new client, I tell them that step one in making your brand more “cool and filled with substance” is to make sure that every touchpoint they have with their surroundings has a person attached to it. Normally the management hesitates for a second and then burst out: “But that would mean every person in our organization would be some sort of personal brand.”
Yes it would. And that’s a good thing. Yes, I want you to do personal branding galore. No, it’s not enough to create personal branding solely for the CEO because normally he doesn’t have a lot of time to talk to people. No, you can’t keep personal brands as a part of your organization if they leave. It’s personal. It’s something that creates legacy for the person who has the brand, and better their chances of getting a job someplace else. See it as employee maintenance. But what if every piece of information going out from a company has a sender attached to it. What would happen if Mr. Larsen asked to talk to Betty every time he has a problem, and Mr. Jensen would ask for Sandy because they became the one to one face of a given company? It would mean that the trust of the company would increase. What if everyone in the company had their name as email addresses? Would you rather write firstname.lastname@example.org or BCM57@giganticboringcorp.com? The same on social media – what would happen if everybody knew the blogger/twitter/facebook/instagram team of company xx? It would turn a tiny part of the company from unrelatable to relatable.
Try it out and show the rest of us who you really are.
April 26, 2013
Whether you’re trying to raise capital, promote your business or, endorse yourself, it’s necessary to have an elevator pitch. Your elevator pitch needs to communicate your message quickly, accurately, and distinctly to someone who doesn’t even know you. A good elevator pitch pitch takes planning, and practice to deliver it fast – on the spot, and under pressure.
Yes rockers, you only have one minute – the time it takes for an average elevator ride – to explain yourself, your goals, your passions and your business. Your listener knows none of these things. Are you prepared to deliver an awesome message? Can you present your visions smoothly, seducing your audience to know more exciting details about you and your business?
You might have wondered about the awe-inspiring ability of smooth talkers who can speak their way straight to your wallets. Well everybody has an ability to develop these skill – cause every skill can be learned.
Personally, I have struggled through low self-esteem throughout my teenage years because I have always been different from my peers. As a result, I ended up suffering from stage fright.
Today, I am as confident a speaker as I can ever be. And I think I pretty much rock on stage.
Based on my humble experience, these are the simple steps I continuously follow whenever I do my pitch, be it inside the elevator or in the inevitable after-conference cocktails which I always attend.
I call it the elevator pitch wheel, it’s shown above this article and you can read more about it here
Describe what your mission is. Here is where you state your value phrased as an impact. It may help to organize your thoughts by thinking of this as your tag line.
Describe what makes you stand out. Now’s the time to show the exclusive benefits that you and your brand bring to business. Show what you do that is different or better than others.
Describe how you serve. What is it you really do – in detail. So many times I have overheard conversations at conferences where a person basically tell another person “so I think it sounds awesome, but what is it you really do?”
Always keep your message simple, authentic and personal. Avoid jargon, trendy buzzwords, or business-speak. Your listener has sat through all those boring meetings, has attended those seminars, has read those books. You want to be memorable, and that means using your own words.
Be passionate yet flexible. Listeners may be fascinated by your business logic, but your passion will create an even stronger impression. Now, if your listener wants to clarify something, be ready and willing to go in a new direction.
After all, the elevator pitch is designed to start a conversation. If that conversation starts sooner than later. Well done. Your pitch has worked perfectly.
April 22, 2013
We have long known the value of word-of-mouth. While word-of-mouth has always been done the same way since we’ve learned to talk and socialize in such forms as a person-to-conversations as in the city square’s since forever, or over-the-phone interactions since 1961, the internet has provided a much faster way to share our opinions about the stories from people or brands that touches our emotions, needs or demand. However: even today offline Word-of-Mouth consists of more than 90 % of all conversations.
The rise of social media where people are sharing their opinions and others’ opinions the agree or disagree with, or are inspired by, in close-knit communities is changing the context of word-of-mouth from the primary social interaction between two people who knows each other well and trust each other, to engagement between total strangers, or between people who only know each other online.
However, I don’t personally regard the online and offline word-of-mouth as an either/or situation – even though only a dismal 10% are happening online, this is where a lot of my work is done and inspiration found. And those 10 % gives an extremely good outlook for the remaining 90 % (business talk: enormously large focus-group anyone ?) I have always regarded the digital world as an extension of the real world. Each complements the other. You hear from a friend about this product holding great promise and then you read reviews of it online before you make your purchase. Or someone from your social network forwards you a great viral advert and you showed it to your hubby over dinner. Or you walk into a clothing store, find a great pair of sneakers and go home and buy them online. Yeah that happens a lot these days.
I think the only reason why this online vs. offline debate continues to linger is because online word-of-mouth is much easier to measure than the offline. We’ve got tools to track brand mentions from brand conversations to following word-of-mouth on social networks so companies can gauge consumer sentiments – whether positive or negative – on 24/7 basis. On the other hand, offline measurement of word-of-mouth is so much harder to obtain and, it usually relies on asking people to remember conversations on a certain brand they have had, a costly and time-consuming endeavor within the time-compressed virtual world..
Given the inherent advantage of measuring online word-of-mouth as opposed to the overwhelming dominance of offline word-of-mouth in terms of sales, I have tried to tame the tiger and identified three forms of word-of-mouth that business leaders should understand in order to have a fighting chance – experiential, consequential, and intentional.
I think the most powerful and common form of word-of-mouth is the experiential as it results from consumers’ direct experience from brands. It is worth noting that people rarely complain or praise a brand for performing what’s expected but will go out of their way when the experience deviates from the expected. Criticisms when airlines lose luggage are classic instances of experiential word-of-mouth (United breaks guitars anyone ?) negatively affecting brand sentiment and reducing the effect of positive word-of-mouth from other sources. Of course, positive word-of-mouth resulting from exceptional service will generate windfalls for the brand.
But marketing activities can also trigger word-of-mouth, the most common of which is the consequential word-of-mouth. It occurs when people are exposed to traditional marketing campaigns, such as t.v., pass on messages about the ads or the brand they broadcast. The impact of these handed down messages is often more compelling than the direct effect of the advert as marketing campaigns that trigger positive word-of-mouth have relatively higher campaign reach and influence.
And the least common form of word-of-mouth is intentional as when business use celebrity endorsements to generate excitement around the brand. Before the advent of social media, only a few brands ever invest in intentional word-of-mouth because its effects and execution are hard to measure. Today, however, the shift of power from the brand to the increasingly opinionated consumer has forced the companies to look for brand advocates to amplify the brand within a given community.
At the end of the day, the vast expanse of opportunities that brands have to connect with their peers to boost awareness, appreciation and conversation with the goal of increasing sales doesn’t occur in the online world as many marketing pundits would have us believe. I like to emphasize that, sure, online is also important. But where the real sales are created – that’s offline. It’s where real stories are created and lived because that’s where we live and breathe.
April 9, 2013
Digitally literate ? New beginnings require new perspectives. As we experience the awesome unfolding of a new world, there has been a lot of talk about what literacy means in this rolling realm of the digital and further more – can digital literacy save the world ? Most of these talks around digital literacy are not sexy, so I want my simple share of the pie, too. For me, digital literacy is simply knowing what online tools to use and how to use them. But rather than waste my time and your time debating on what the official definition should be, I think it’s more appropriate to start getting my folks to care and to engage:
The number one reward is it saves me money. Between those coupon codes, comparison shopping sites, daily deal sites and mobile apps, the consumer within me is better informed than ever to get – only the best product but also – the best price. Throw in the ubiquitous free shipping, and this one incentive alone can make those digital immigrants wish they’d been born today
More than just the money, the digital saves me a much more important commodity – my valued time. Juggling a demanding career creating strategies + advice, several speaking gigs, a dalmatian grand-dane, bookwriting, a family + a house; I think it’s impossible without the internet. I literally can’t stand using time on shopping anymore. It has never been my “thing” but I would rather use 30 minutes look over the entire clothing catalogue at asos.co.uk instead of going to the local H & M and look 100.000 different items of clothes.
I also learn faster using the web. I can still remember so vividly the time when, during primary school years, my teacher used to encourage the class to read books with the dictionary right next to us. If there were words we did not understand, we could easily consult the 10-pound dictionary. Now, I don’t exactly remember the time when I last opened my dictionary. I simply go to an online dictionary to look up for the definition with an audio clip on how I should pronounce the word. Isn’t this awesome?
The digital allows me to connect to a wide variety of people. However, when social media took off, a lot of people criticized it for its negative effects on real relationships. I refuse to share the burden. That’s totally bullshit because I firmly believe social media is an awesome platform to start or maintain a relationship which I should nurture in the real world.
I can influence the world. I’ve been using the wonders of the web to spread my revolution about business unusual. I’m lucky to meet people as passionate as I am who share this same ideal of instigating profound change in small doses around the business world. In a sense, I am blessed to be able to use the internet to exchange exciting ideas and at the same time tell my compelling story.
If you look at these things. Some of our ancestors where killed to speak their minds, yet alone save the world on a small scale – amazing isn’t it ?
How about you, rockers? How digitally literate are you ? how are you making digital literacy saving your world, bit by bit ?
April 4, 2013
One of the things I really love about pinterest is the amount of cool confident one liners for business. If you would like to see my favorites you can check them out here.
But the picture above is also one that really spoke to me. Kind of like an “is the glass half-empty or half-full” approach.
Just think about this for a second, rockers. If you’re going to be aware of one and only one mental dynamic as business owners, the most important thing to know about would be the relationship between your thoughts and the way you feel. It’s important to realize that you are constantly thinking and that it’s been estimated that the average Joe has around 50,000 thoughts per day.
Some of these thoughts are positive and productive. Like this mini-toothlesstiger-hub I have been planning to set up. This hub-in-the-making is all about newsjacking, a new trend in marketing (well, what else?) where you ride the big news to bring attention to your brand. It’s been keeping me all pumped up with excitement these days because I can’t help but think of the positive ways it can help brands that are short on the marketing budget…
But unfortunately, many of these thoughts also reside on the negative– angry, fearful, pessimistic and worrisome – fostering self-doubts and effectively ruining your day.
Basically I am confronted with two choices when dealing with negative thoughts. Either I take them seriously, in which case I study them deeply. Or I take them lightly, in which case I reduce them to a lower status where they rightfully belong.
I generally take the path of least resistance by just dismissing the negative thoughts aside and relegating them to the back of my mind. Sure, it takes a lot of practice in self-control to achieve this but I always find it’s all worth the effort. Why waste my time and energy thinking of every possible scenario that could possibly go wrong when I can better serve my days by concentrating on the things that could possibly go right?
Everything that begins in the your mind ends up in your heart, folks. Your heart feels what your mind accepts. If your mind is full of potential business problems, then your professional as well as your personal life is filled with anxiety. Relationships suffer, and you’re unhappy.
But if your mind is fixed to the exciting solutions to every possible problems around your business, then your life is filled with inspiration. You see problems as mere jumping boards so you can soar higher. You see unforeseen events as opportunities and not as conspiracies out to demolish you and your business. You feel good, satisfied and happy.
March 19, 2013
Is it even possible for ALL of US to have our passions be our main source of income? Can you make a living off your passion?
Sure, we’ve been hearing a lot of stories about the few lucky people striking their pots of gold, sometimes making us bright red with pangs of bitterness, but is it really possible for the average you and me? Or are those who made it to their promised land really have the grand scheme of the universe going for them?
Well, after years of doing business unusual, I have good news for you…
I’m sure that there’s something that you love doing, or even business ideas you’d been developing that someone else would be happy to pay top dollar for, right at this moment. But if that’s the case then why is it that 80% of the working people are resigned to jobs they can barely swallow?
The simple truth is that it’s not easy. And most people aren’t really prepared to give up their salary…
Yeah, rockers, following your passions and trying to make a living out of it means not working for those stable employers (though it’s possible) and getting your regular paycheck every two weeks. Instead, you got to figure out how to make money on your own. That’s the hard part. This is why most people would just grudgingly settle for the paycheck.
Of course, I know the why of it all still remain unanswered. Why can some people invite the sort of enviable success, a fortunate few even jumping seamlessly from one passionate venture to the next, achieving all sorts of achievement, while the unfortunate majority can’t even take that first step to find their passions, and build the same profitable careers out of it? Is there some voodoo or mystical mantras behind it all?
As it turns out, passionate people live not by their passions alone but they seem to possess the uncanny ability to know what’s actually possible. They have an open, wide view of the steps they need to take, so they just dive headfirst to whatever creative idea that excites them in any given moment.
But the rest of the world seems too absorbed with bills to pay that the most spectacular ideas are often smothered inside the creative minds of the average Joe without ever seeing the light of day. It’s sad, and it doesn’t have to be this way.
Let me start by telling you that you don’t have to give up your day jobs just so you can pursue your passions. By all means, keep your jobs to pay the bills but delegate enough time to tinker around. After all, if an idea or product evokes so much emotion, then you won’t even notice the amount of time you spent perfecting whatever it is that inspires you.
The next step lies in removing the barriers within your mind. One of the most common hurdles stopping people from living off their passions is the wrong sided belief that you don’t know something well enough to get paid to teach it to somebody else. That’s a lot of bulls—t – you know more than you think. Expertise is largely based on perceptions, and it is always relative.
To my mind, the last and greatest burden is purely cultural. We grew up in a society conditioned to believe that it’s not possible – and downright impractical – to build a career around your passion. I think the only way to get around this negative, collective mentality is to hang out with people already living comfortably by creating value out of their passions. If you spend enough time with people living squarely off their dreams and insanely proud of doing it, then the impossible becomes possible.
Try this; the shift in psychology will rock your world….
Start by doing one small thing to build the empire of you. I started out by booking a lot of unpaid speaking gigs around blogging. It made me aware that I was too geeky in my approach to the audience (but I became known as the danish blog girl).
Then I hit upon this (great) idea of turning companies into rockbands, which I spent 14 nights writing an ebook around that I gave away for free – and later people could purchase it by opting-in to my newsletter.
An empire of you is built on babysteps. Take the first one now. If you should do one tiny step in the direction of having an empire of you in a couple of years, what would that be ?
March 12, 2013
I believe that professionals are engaging more and more on LinkedIn in a grand scale and they use it to reconnect with their peers strategically.
Every time I do a speaking gig, the b2b members of the crowd are particularly interested in hearing me break down LinkedIn for them.
And I understand why. As the hottest professional networking site with over 200 million members, LinkedIn has launched a new design with some cool, customizable options for everyone. It has become more conversational and more of an interactive portfolio page than a CV. It’s a nice transformation from those boring days where people would come only to peek through another member’s resume info and then leave as quietly as they have arrived…
Of course, you won’t want to be left behind with all the changes you can do on your profile, and now that they are viewing your profile you might as well surprise them with the way you rock – right ?
Profile pictures and taglines on LinkedIn
The first change which will immediately affect you is the linkedin profile photo size (200×200 minimum or 500×500 maximum) providing you with a larger frame for your photo. I think that with the new linkedin profile picture size it’s increasingly important to have a professional style picture that shows only you.
A larger photo frame provides you the opportunity to brand yourself. Whether you dressed and looked like a stern looking queen or even a casual, comfortable hippie is your choice so long as your profile picture reflects the authentic, real you. Whatever you decide, I think it’s wise to go for a professional head shot especially if you don’t know much about photography(maybe you have a friend that knows a bit more about it and could even shoot the photo?). Hands down, my profile photo on LinkedIn these days is a photo I took right before I headed out to town with my girls, but I really like it (and you’ve all seen my press photos as well right?).
Beside your name, put some power words that will make you stand out. Replace your title with taglines, for example:”Henriette Weber: Business Unusual, Digital strategist”. Your photo and your tagline is part of your caller id and they will show up when you call someone on her iphone. However, you are limited to only 40 characters, so you need to be super creative in describing yourself.
Vanity urls on linkedin
You can prominently display your name or your brand by creating a unique, personalized public url as linkedin allows you to change your profile link from a nonsensical string to your name or business. Mine is like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/henrietteweber . You can do this in a snap. Just go to the Profile tab, then Edit Profile, find Public Profile, make the changes and, presto! You have personalized your url.
Rocking your LinkedIn summary
This is similar to your elevator pitch. And like your elevator pitch, here is an excellent moment to present your best possible self to the professional world. I beg your pardon? Absolutely no resume-speak please and make sure your unique personality comes through (read: speak like a human, not a bot).
Spend more time and emphasis in doing your summary because competition is ruthless but if you do it well, you’ll surely get hired. Get those keywords around your work going and you will find that they are sometimes the reason you’re found on linkedin.
Provide and share relevant, useful info for your niche on LinkedIn
But first, build an engaged audience that can relate to your ideas and welcome your updates by focusing more on relevant content and never forgetting to add your take. You should also actively join in the fun by commenting on an activity, sharing it, and if you’re really busy simply liking it (but that doesn’t generate a lot of relationship, the two other options works much better for you).
Join LinkedIn groups and make groups
Hands down – I like facebooks group function much better than linkedin’s – however I do have a business rocker group there where we discuss business unusual – join us if you’ll like. We are slowly building the group but I would really love to have you there.
I know its plain commonsense but I’ll say it anyhow. No constant pitching please; not on your profile and not in groups. instead, focus on what’s valuable for your network and no worries, they will reward you down the road.
Using slideshare to build an exciting portfolio on LinkedIn.
And a very secret but hot tip that works for me every time? Cut the summary short. Share some presentations about yourself and your product on slideshare and make sure it’s right below your summary – around 10 lines down. Even though it doesn’t show up on your public profile, it will get noticed when people surf LinkedIn. And because there isn’t a lot of pictures, it will gain instant curiosity.
Of course, there are still a lot of LinkedIn changes, but I think I have covered the most important ones… If you have LinkedIn ads available in your language (danish isn’t really covered – yet), They just integrated their company pages as well as your LinkedIn profile in Hootsuite, so that’s really awesome too.
Oh and I’m sure that after reading this, you’ll want to hop right over your profile and snoop around some more…
C’mon rockers, let’s groove to this linkedin beat!
March 8, 2013
It’s morning and it’s the International Women’s Day. It’s hands down one of the days of the year where I am most grateful. Where I give all my beloved mothers across the generations my complete love and blessings and whisper my deepest “thank you”.
Thank you for making my conditions so great that I am almost seen as an equal to and by a lot of men.
Here’s a bunch of my gratitude that I want to pass out to the world on internations women’s day:
Grandma, thank you for the 40 years at the rubber factory in downtown Helsingør. You worked SO HARD just to make ends meet. And yes, you did…because I’m here.
Great-grandma: thank you for surviving World War 2, I know it came close. I’m so incredibly proud of you and what you did for me, and for all those people that needed to get to Sweden under the war. Everything else doesn’t matter. You and great-grandpa saved lives. You gave hope to those who were without hope. You risked everything for a greater cause and you’ve taught me that your life doesn’t really matter if you don’t fight, if you don’t change anything. And if you don’t dream and just want to maintain the status quo.
Great-great-grandma, thank you for being a spiritist and experimenting every day. I still think the 1930s must have been a fine time to be alive – and I was lucky enough to have my grandmother telling me how you dealt with spirits in your house. I think it’s weird, but still awesome.
Mom: thank you for being a telegraphist and sailing the seven seas, before you had me. The best stories from my childhood were made of the east and I wouldn’t have been without them. I know you almost lost me and I wouldn’t have been if the captain indeed had sold you for a bunch of camels to that Arabian rich man, but mom, I’m so glad he didn’t. I’m happy you went home, found dad and created, well… me.
To the other grandma who is 78 and still rocks both a computer and an iPad and who has taken care of a business and 3 kids throughout her life: I love you, and I think it’s fantastic that you keep fighting the technology, keep learning and having it make sense to you. I’m proud to pick up the phone every day and answer where you need to put the USB mouse in the new computer.
Thank you ALL for taking care of me as a child. For fighting. Creating and not giving up. Saving and making life. For making me an equal – in this part of the world at least.
A lot of places in the world aren’t the same as here. I thank you all for helping me get over the violent abuses I suffered as a teenager, made by teenage boys – simply because I wasn’t strong enough to know what’s going on, and those boys probably didn’t know how bad you can fuck up a teenage girl by stepping over her boundaries.
When everything comes to everything: You’ve shaped me. You’re my mothers. You’ve taught me so much – and I will pass it on to my own daughter.
And to darling P – my precious little girl. No worries, mommy will make sure that everything is cool with being a girl in this particular part of the world when you’re a teenager. I will load you with self-esteem, respect for yourself and power. I am passing it all to you.
I know it may sound weird having to rant it out in this same article, but I got to plug it in somehow. I want to say that there are so many places in the world where women are still being abused violently.
Even here, though not as much as the other places. And I am not talking about every man. I’m not talking about the good men. I’m talking about men (and women!) who think its ok to abuse others. It’s not.
If you’ll do one thing today to fight: I think you should give some money to women’s education. Maybe even to the ”More than me girls academy“ It’s one of my favorite projects. Why? Because it educates women and it makes them believe in themselves. It makes them dream and create and make the world a better place.
I also want to leave you with another of my favorite quotes from “how to be a woman”:
February 25, 2013
Years ago, I created my very own social media value chain mainly to guide me along my work around branding, identity and social networking initiatives. It was just a spur of the moment, curly creative, seminal, scraggly map which I shared in a post here.
But you know what? Surprise, surprise…
Although I did not know then that this map would be very useful in guiding me through my consultations with existing clients and helped me clinch projects with potential clients, it was more like a trial and error journey. There are some highs and a few lows but, I learned a lot through my interactions with business owners and my tweaks in social campaigns.
I even published an ebook, “Rock Your Identity” to spread the good news. Rock Your Identity is sort of a mini-guide on how you can elevate your identity in social media to rock star status. No worries, rockers, you can download a free copy here.
Here’s a quick model of my social media value chain, distilled through years of practice. This is what a social networking value chain look like:
Today, I won’t dwell too much on everything that I discussed in the ebook, because I assumed that all those who have not yet read it will want to know what the hell I’m talking about. However a value chain of social network is something I deem extremely important in your social media process.
Well, I like to amplify more on that first step when you engage in social media – learning the art of listening. Yeah, it may sound simple when all you listen to are five-star reviews and glowing feedbacks. But how will you react to those big, fat zero reviews and negative feedbacks? It’s too sad that a lot of business has failed miserably in their social media campaigns because they are just not prepared to handle social criticisms.
Sure, they have risk management teams and PRs to handle these situations. But generally, these efforts are superficial at best. In the intolerant and opinionated culture of social media, they only aggravate the brand’s image.
In any case – you have to know how to use those reviews (positive or negative) to add up to the bottom line of your company.
social media value chain: capitalize on user innovation
But that’s just one side of the coin. The other side is just as important. Most companies, after investing much time and effort in engaging their most dedicated consumers, fail to capitalize on user innovation, when those consumers have improved the products to fit their needs. Really, it’s one thing to decorate those suggestion boxes with all the latest tools you can get your hands on but, if those suggestions go straight to the trash… Oh, what a waste.
The culprit? Most brands are just not ready to jump into concrete actions on what they are hearing on social platforms. It’s a needed individual flow, somewhat like dancing into the groove. How are you going to make those comments or those ratings a part of your brand?
Maybe they are too proud to acknowledge suggestions coming from the front thinking wrongly that their R&Ds, with all the glowing resumes and fat salaries, are more equipped to handle product improvements. Maybe they think that their risk management plans can gloss over their shortcomings and everything will be fine tomorrow.
Here’s the gauntlet – everything comes down to one essential question: how do you react to what you hear around your brand? And have you set up a system that gives you a hunch around what you’re supposed to hear?
Last week I was at a conference in Copenhagen (at Better Place and on a side note I urge you to choose a car with a purpose the next time you’re purchasing). The ever-awesome Chief Happiness Officer: Alex Kjerulf told a story about Zappos and how they found out that the reason one of their clients hadn’t returned the goods she said she would was because her husband died. Later that day, not only did they pick up the goods themselves, there was also a gigantic flower bucket standing on her porch with condolences from the whole Zappos team.
Do you have an organization that would do that? Do you have people in your employ that simply implements this because of the brand’s DNA ?
February 20, 2013
Oh, I know the whole drill. And I want to consider putting some serious effort into your business mojo.
As a business-owner, sometimes you have a great product that you’re super-excited about, and you just can’t wait to present it to the Whole Wide World. Your nights are filled with wonderful dreams about how people will line up to buy your product, and your days are loaded with ideas on fine-tuning and making this product greater still so nothing can go wrong.
Then you got yourself a wonderful website, your virtual shopfront a showcase of everything and anything you can think of about this product. You got every base covered, and you started waiting in anticipation for the cash to settle in….these are good times.
Then reality settles in with a loud thud…Nobody seems to notice your website, everybody seems to go past your shop door. On good days, a few trickles in but stays only on your homepage before going away – forever.
Slowly, your days become full of self-doubt, and your nights are filled with nightmares straight out of a horror movie… You feel like an outcast, and the pain just won’t go away…these are bad times.
Sounds familiar? Yeah, I know the feeling of being an outcast, a social pariah. I have been through that before, on a more personal level. But I have overcome the stigma, of which I have celebrated in this blogpost.
In hindsight, perhaps the reason why I chose a career in marketing, specifically, in that super niche world of advising company boards, start-ups, web shops, and design companies was because of my innate desire to celebrate myself; that I can still create value while being a rebel. I even give personal marketing advice to CEOs of really big companies. And I do speaking gigs on the side, initially in protest to my stage fright, but I’d come to totally enjoy these gigs now.
Having gone through the same experience as you do, I know I can help you. Yeah, whatever product you offer must be great. Perhaps the only reason why nobody cares is because nobody knows your product is there.
The biggest mistake you can make in your business is waiting for your intended consumers to notice you. You should reach out to them. They are just out there, waiting for you. But you should initiate the contact. They are just too busy.
So, get that business mojo going and start market yourself in all kinds of quirky shapes and colours!