Posts Tagged United States
Formulas, Goals, and the Battlefield
I usually agree with Seth Godin on most things, but this one is a bit too far out for me. I’ve included the entire post on his blog below, it short, and also a link to his blog if you want to read any of the comments there. So take a quick read and I’ll continue below:
The easiest way to sell yourself short is to compare your work to the competition. To say that you are 5% cheaper or have one or two features that stand out–this is a formula for slightly better mediocrity.
The goal ought to be to compare yourself not to the best your peers or the competition has managed to get through a committee or down on paper, but to an unattainable, magical unicorn.
Compared to that, how are you doing?
- Seth Godin
Formula: Short Sale
I do agree with Godin that many companies sell themselves short. Always trying to lower the bar in the hope of gaining a few customers. Where I disagree with Godin on this is that it’s not because of the comparison to competitors, but rather a poor strategy for taking consumers away from those competitors based on the tactics that are short sighted.
Goal: Long Term Relationship
The tactics you use should be based on the principle that your company is seen as the better choice. There are many areas a consumer could focus to answer this question. It is your job to make the answer self-evident when it come to comparing your company to your competitors.
We fight on the battlefield of the consumer’s mind. It’s one of the smallest battlefield you will ever find yourself on, about 6 inches. You should create campaigns that, hopefully, take up territory. And if you do it well, you should hold more ground then your competitors. The strategy is different for each company. It is based on the position of your product in the market place and how our competitors currently stand. We recommend following the “Marketing Warfare” strategies laid out by Ries and Trout. So make sure your strategy fits your goals.
Because the last time I checked … your consumers aren’t looking to buy Magical Unicorns … and I’m fairly certain you haven’t hired anyone with unicorn making skills recently.
Good Hunting and would love to read your comments on this topic.
- Notes From The Seth Godin Event: Pick Yourself (styleandthestartup.com)
- How To Move Your Brand From Good Enough To Remarkable (fastcompany.com)
- Sunday Shorts – Businesses Doing It Right Edition (dannybrown.me)
- The 10 Most Echoed Seth Godin Posts (davejafari.com)
- Education Manifesto ‘Stop Stealing Dreams’ by Seth Godin (connectwithyourteens.net)
With all the ‘Steve Jobs‘ posts flooding the internet, this one caught my eye. It is not a Apple bash piece but rather a great object lesson for those that get caught up in the “Aim, Aim, Aim, Ready, Aim, Aim, Fire” mode.
6 of Apples Greatest Mistakes
By Scott M. Fulton, III / October 6, 2011 2:03 PM
This is not an Apple-bashing piece. It is also not an attempt to cut an American icon down to size at a time when were remembering the magnificent contributions of its fallen founder. This is about how failure makes us better.Ive lost count of the number of times Ive heard, seen, or read comparisons of Steve Jobs to Thomas Edison since early yesterday evening. Jobs did not invent anything – not the personal computer, not the MP3 player, not the tablet. But besides that fact, there are certain other stark similarities. One: Jobs, like Edison, was a fierce competitor who sought to control not only the delivery channel for his products, but the market surrounding those products. Two: Like the finest scientist, Jobs studied his failures and Apples very carefully, and unlike Microsoft, built his next success upon the smoking ruins of his failures.More Steve Jobs Stories6 of Apples Greatest MistakesSteve Jobs Legacy In the Pantheon of Great American InnovatorsFrom Silicon Valley to Bahrain, the Web Mourns Steve JobsA Great User Experience: The Web Legacy of Steve JobsWhat Steve Meant Back ThenReaders will likely remind me that certain of the
Marathon Not Sprint
As I mention in my “Failure is not a Title” post, we need to look at things as a long process that we learn from, a Marathon if you will, not a 100 yard dash. Yes, the above mentioned items are on the bottom of some outhouse of ideas, but the industry learned from then and evolved into what we have today.
- Think Different – The Legacy of Steve Jobs (legallyeasy.rocketlawyer.com)
- Steve Jobs Reinvented What It Means to be Human (forbes.com)
- An Analogy of Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs (nytimes.com)
My family took the typical last summer vacation before the beginning of school sports seasons and school. My wife planned a surprise two day trip that , which in theory, would keep our four boys, 14 year olds to 5 years old, entertained and exhausted. The location was Gurnee Illinois and the Six Flags Great America theme park with an overnight stay at KeyLime Cove, a new indoor water resort.
On this trip, three examples of customer service excellence surfaced.
Excellent Customer Service Example #1
Let me set the stage. It’s 9:45PM and the KeyLime Cove water park closes at 10PM. The tube slide lifeguard, a 6 foot something lean athletic looking young man, has been given the all clear that no other patrons will be coming down the tubes and he can begin his duties of stacking the double and single inner tubes that have just traversed hundreds of water park miles today. But first, he must deal with a small object, a third his size, our 5 year old son, Justin. The noise in the cavernous indoor water park is deafening and causes even people sitting next to each other to speak rather loudly so as to overcome the constant white noise of splashing and falling water.
Our Justin walked over and began a conversation with this end-of-day lifeguard. This young man spent 5 minutes (mind you that’s like 1 hour in adult time) face to face, sometimes only two inches apart, never losing eye contact, always smiling, asking for the occasional high-five when he thought it was appropriate. The young lifeguard probably couldn’t understand or hear the young boys declarations of how this day was just simply awesome and 5-year-old’s attempt to share it with someone. Somehow this young man knew (and maybe has seen this played out several times at KeyLime Cove) the significance of this little person’s desire to share, so he patiently waited while the little man continued expanding on his wonderful day.
We finally took pity on the young worker and asked Justin to return to our sides. I gave the young man a thumbs up and smiled. He also smiled and nodded his head, understanding fully that this was just as much of his job as making sure the patrons were safe while having fun.
Excellent Customer Service Example #2
No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service. We’ve all read this sign. It’s a typical health code requirement in all restaurants. In this case the “No Service” portion was replace with “Exceed your Customer’s Expectations” by the restaurant manager.
The above mentioned Justin had broken his cheap flip-flops during the day’s adventure. Our car was parked about a mile away from the front entrance of KeyLime Cove. I’m tired and I thought that since this was a water park that they would let us slide (no water park pun intended) on the rule. NOPE! They explained that we would have to come back with the correct attire. Something on our son’s face caused the manager to jump into action. She said we should go sit down and she would check if they had any extra flip-flops. EXTRAS?????? Well, I guess it was a water park.
A few minutes later, the manager returned after visiting the upstairs gift shop and placed on my son’s feet a new pair. We offered to pay but she refused, She explained that she noticed how disappointed my son was that we might not be able to eat at her establishment, so she couldn’t allow that to happen.
At the end of the long day, we still had one special event planned. Our traditional “Un-Birthday” celebration. This is simply a necessity because our families can not attend all the birthday parties of all the different families, so when we do get together, we celebrate one “Un-Birthday” to make up for it.
My sister-in-law brought a sheet of brownies and we wanted to eat it at the restaurant. You can image the typical response from most eateries. Not at this one. The same above mentioned restaurant manager focusing on customer satisfaction jumped in again and took the sheet over to the ice cream parlor area of the restaurant and had it decorated. Not just adding a word or two, but on the borders, and added fruit as well to give it some color. This was really over the top and just capped the end of this two day adventure with a sense of true customer service excellence.
In fact, on the 3 hour ride home, I began to form my thoughts for this post. This small family vacation trip, and the customer service examples forever etched in my mind. And I declared to my wife, “We will be going back there again!”
- How’s your social customer service? (socialfish.org)
- Customer Service Help (fullgamutworkshop.wordpress.com)
- Are customer service agents too rude? (eptica.wordpress.com)
- The Good and Bad of Customer Service (tinamwoodin.wordpress.com)
- Why Customer Service is So Important for Freelancers (businessns.tumblr.com)