Jan 29, 2014

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Open Letter From Your Customer to Your Brand Life is complicated. There I said it. We all know it and therefore business can be complicated because it is run by human beings. That's the bad news....that is a problem. But there is good news..... Life is complicated AND that is true for our potential customers...that is the opportunity. You see humans want a simple life, they want that magical formula that will make their teeth whiter than white, they want the car that will fulfil their aspirations yet be better for the environment..... Even within businesses we know the problems and yet as humans we struggle to sort out our own problems - why else would there be such a vibrant consultancy offering? Now with content marketing we often talk about providing content that fulfils the need of the customer NOT your desire to sell your product.....isn't that just a way of saying...make my life simple, please! Dear Brand, I get up, I go to work, I crave time...is there any way that you can save me time? I just don't have the time to shop around...can you help provide honest, open reviews that will help me find the right product at the right price? I value my time and want to spend my time with my children, my family...not waiting on the end of a phone whilst you switch me from department to department...can you provide me a quick, easy way to answer my questions? Ask my queries? Allow me to control my own account? I have disappointments in my life. My journeys are often late, my weight fluctuates, my ideal holiday has to get pushed back whilst we repair the leaking roof....so when you say that you will do something, when you say that you product/service will do this or that...don't disappoint me.....can't you find a way of overdelivering ? I live on the web. I don't listen to adverts, I bin junk mail, I fast forward through commercials...can't you reach me where I am rather than where you believe I should be? ... Mr Brand, I want to stay loyal because it is easier yet you value new customers more than me. You make me switch in order to get the better deal, why can't you reward loyalty? I don't ask much, I mean I work hard, I bring up my family to the best of my ability and I don't want the world...I just want buying to be easier. I don't want loads of cash thrown at me, I just want the simple things like honesty, transparency and recognition. Love The person who pays your salary xxxx
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Have you become too predictable? I do some part time lecturing on law as a way of giving back to the next generation. I was preparing for this mornings tutorial and it struck me "There is a fine line between predictable and repeatable" Let me explain.... Brands and business need to develop a repeatable business model with repeatable processes to ensure consistent delivery of values, ideas, products and services. As a consumer I want to be able to depend on you. It is this dependability that builds trust and loyalty. However... It is a fine line between a desire to be repeatable and a mindset of predictability. Predictability means that You stop improving You struggle to cope with change You stop delighting me rather than pleasing me You play it safe rather than take calculated risks You become a commodity rather than giving me a reason to purchase. I was thinking about this in relation to coaching ( I like to coach in thinking rather than lecture or teach...semantics I know but it is always about approach!) It is about developing a repeatable way of learning that works whilst still maintaining the interest and desire of the group. Being repeatable demands higher thinking so that you don't allow repeatable to become predictable. It comes down to this.... Frameworks, boundaries..allow you to be confident that what you say will be what is delivered. The way you deliver needs constant improvement, constant little tweaks to keep moving forward. Great questions to ask yourself, your brand, your team, your company....is Are we creating a repeatable process? So we never let anyone down. Are we ensuring that repeatable never gets in the way of delighting our customer? Do we truly know what should be repeatable and what risks becoming predictable?

Anna Farmery

Social Marketing Architect, Speaker, Author and in spare time completing PhD on the future of the social business model

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