In order to be in love we need to feel loved. Often we mistake love for other intense emotions such as lust, obsession and even fear.
So if we were to translate this to business parlance it might read like this:
If we want people to love our brand or company, we simply have to make our audience ‘feel loved’.
So then the next questions we should be asking are:
- Will they love this product?
- Will they love our value equation?
- Will they love our guarantee?
- Will they love our designs?
- Will love our ‘contact us’ policy or phone staff?
In fact, let’s just start every audience related question with the words ‘Will they love….”
If we do this and focus on being more than good, more than liked and only accept moving towards stuff people will love. Then one day, they may just love our brand.
Entrepreneurs must build all types of relationships.
- Relationships with our suppliers and the value chain
- Relationships with our buyers & resellers
- Relationships with our staff and business partners / investors
- Relationships with our audience & evangelists
In fact, when we are small have little or no revenue, the only thing we can do is have conversations and build relationships. These will lead to action and revenue. While having dinner with a colleague the other night, John Colbert of Corporate Edge training he gave me his view on relationships.
There are two important factors in relationships – frequency & proximity.
How frequently are we engaging the other person? Where frequency, is any type of conversation, communication or interaction.
And what is our proximity to this person? Where proximity pertains to the physical closeness and real world interactions we have together. Do we meet in person? Are we getting to know each other without the use of technology? Simply meeting in the same location?
The more of the above two things we have the stronger our relationships come. If we for a moment think of who we have strong relationships with, we’ll see we have both Frequency and Proximity.
The reality is humans want to deal with people they like, trust and know. This is what relationships build.
So if one of our important business relationships (those listed above) is flagging, maybe we should have more frequent interactions, get closer or do both.
“It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?”
So we’ve all heard about UGC and the virtues of having your brand hijacked by passionate users. The truth is most brands ‘just got lucky’ when it happens to them. The real trick is knowing what to do when it does happen. How to leverage it without destroying the organic evolution which allowed it in the first place.
Chupa chups is a recent example in Australia of a Brand Hijack. It’s been a bit of a darling within various youth culture subsets – including the rave and hip hop scenes. The cool thing here is that Chupa chups (which incidently is licensed to Cadbury in Australia) hasn’t stuffed it up. Instead they’ve had the wisdom to embrace it – create a canvas for the brand to further ensconce itself in ‘their world’. The brand has ‘got involved with’ the laneway art scene in Melbourne – by creating an event for ‘them’.
The event is being held AC DC lane (apropos) where all street artists can display their talents – free. The lane will have bands, drinks and food open for all and free Chupa chups! They’ve even minimised the awareness campaign one which requires a certain level of self discovery only using street posters and limited street press to communicate the event. They’ve kept it all relatively ‘low key’. In fact, even the art commissioned by Chupa Chups to start the festival doesn’t have any branding. Wow – a brand that gets it.
The visual has already hit the wall as seen below…
You’ll notice the lollipop parachutes and the small chupa chups logo (sans branding) – which incidently was orginally designed by Salvadore Dali . Nice.
If you’re in Melbourne this weekend it’d be worth checking out – I’ll be there.
Start up lesson - Cool brands do cool stuff.
We often wonder which are the best social networking tools to promote our business. In many ways it’s all and none.
There’s no shortage from which we can shoose from a business perspective: My space, Facebook, Bebo, Youtube, Blogging, Twitter, Live streaming TV, Ranking sites like Technorati, delicious and Stumbleupon, Virtual world spaces like second life.
The list is endless. In fact wikipedia lists the most notable (well over 100) here.
The best ones to engage and use aren’t those necessarily with the most people, the most features or the most anything. The best ones to use are those which you use properly. The way in which they were intended. There’s no point having your brand or startup on any of them – unless you engage the crowd in the conversation ‘they want to have”.
What does this mean?
It means be there often – turn up, and talk.
It means listen to them – it’s their place not ours.
It means share the information people want to have shared in ‘that’ forum.
It means, give first to them, and expect nothing back.
It means learn from their wisdom.
It means show your personaility and have an opinion.
It means create value to them, whatever value means in that forum.
It means be part of a dialogue, not a monologue.
In real terms all these tools are, is a personification of yourself, startup or brand. Don’t engage in behavior you wouldn’t engage in while in the real world. We mustn’t act like an Amway Sales Agents on line. If it’s bad form in the real world, it’s bad form in the on-line world.
If we just put our brand on all of these spaces and don’t get involved – it’s a waste of time for all parties involved. We are much better off embracing one or two forums and using them often and consistently. Going there, isn’t the same as being there. They are not shortcuts to brand fame. In fact, they take longer, but can be of greater value.
Given that the web is a conversation – we must embrace it and have manners. If we’re patient it’s worth the effort.
Here’s a nice little insight by from Seth Godin on the truth about networking.
In short it’s about helping others. It’s about the quality and value you provide them – not the number of people you know.
Dig the glasses Seth…
I really like the idea of ‘small’ – Making the macro, micro. 12 secondsTV does it: www.12seconds.tv
As far as marketing insights are concerned it proves that categories don’t converge – but split.
We recently used it for rentoid to kill a few birds with one stone:
- Rewards passionate fans with a bit of fame,
- Create an important dialogue
- Generate some ‘realworld’ market research to boot.
The cool thing is that we’ll publish what people think about rentoid good and bad – so then we have to act on any mooted improvements. Check it by clicking here:
So in the spirit of involvement - I’d love to get a 12 seconds.tv spot from the startupblog crew – ‘yes that means you’ with any piece of business / entrepreneurship or life advice you feel approporiate.
Put your 12 seconds link in the comments and I’ll put it up as it’s own post with a link to your blog / startup / business or whatever.
Get on it.
All our startups, businesses and brands have their people. It’s members, it’s customers. The humans that matter in whatever we do. So how do we connect with them? Not talk to them or worse, at them, but how do we really connect with them?
Here’s what we are doing at rentoid. We are having an coffee session in the CBD of melbourne (our home city) where members can come and grab an espresso and simply chat. If only 1 person turns up, that’s fine by us. Because that one person matters as much as the 250,000 others. In fact to them, they are the only person that matters.
The discussion will be whatever the people want it to be about. Not a contrived focus group. What matters is making a connection with them, being a group of people trying to help each other, breaking down the traditional corporate facade. Not having any gatekeepers. And quite frankly we can’t wait.
If you’re in Melbourne came and meet the rentoid team for a chat and an espresso on us before work. We can chat about startups, marketing, life and maybe even rentoid. We’ll be at Journal in Flinders lane. All the details are here.
When’s the last time you took time out to hang with your people?
Here’s a few categories or Industries which have been revolutionized by Mass Customization:
T-shirts (Threadless & Neighborhoodies)
TV (Youtube & Joost)
Handbags (Elemental Threads)
Journalism (Blogs & podcasting)
Job Seeking (Aggregation & feeds)
Book publishing (Lulu)
Tourism (the web in general)
Luxury goods (fractional ownership)
Networking (facebook & social apps)
In fact there’s just too many to mention.
But the real question is this: If it hasn’t hit your industry yet, why not and what are you doing about it?
If you could offer entrepreneurs one piece of advice what would it be?
Start up blog’s is this: Don’t die wondering.
I’m sure all 20,000 monthly startup blog readers want to hear yours. Add them to the comments or email them to me and I’ll post them on an upcoming blog entry with your name / blog beside it.