May 14th, 2015
If you’re pushing products, technology, and jargon on your customers, you’re punching them in their heads. Ouch. Not a good idea: it hurts you and hurts them.
There is no cerebral purchasing, so why is your salesforce constantly engaged in senseless cerebral selling? Why are your marketers endlessly pursuing meaningless mindshare? Here is why: your competitors are doing likewise; imitation is the rule.
You may find this fisticuffs metaphor extreme — but it’s accurate, unique, compelling, and memorable. Your jargon is not accurate, not unique, not compelling, and not memorable. You will teach it to your salesreps, if you want them to increase revenues and reduce the cost of sales. Moreover, you will insist that your marketing team live and breathe it.
Customer Branding by Remote Control
Your company likely is obsessed with social media, which add nothing to the bottom line. By default, your employees have little or no face-to-face customer expertise and, consequently, focus internally: on products, technology, and jargon. Using indirect, impersonal social media is akin to customer branding by remote control — your company’s generic words and actions reflect its “agoraphobia.”
I’ve presented the basics of branding to various groups of young entrepreneurs and found it shocking their lack of sales knowledge and experience. A serious shortcoming. Ironically, social-media connectivity begets social isolation. So, too often, they’re building products for ill-defined or undefined people and problems.
Example: a startup makes an app and wearable device that helps reduce the frequency of farting-induced awkwardness. Seriously.
If a company doesn’t understand customers viscerally, how can it brand to them? It can’t. Only by knowing customers directly and extensively can the company build products they will buy — and buy repeatedly over time.
Example: John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, recently admitted that he had made incorrect assumptions about Millennials (they’re broke and unemployed) and plans to build a discount chain to serve them. This miscalculation is the result of branding by remote control.
Unlocking Customers and Profits
As per my numerous articles and book, I will repeat my primary thesis: Customers make gut decisions, not cerebral decisions. The way to reach them, therefore, is through their guts.
The gut, not the head, is where you’ll find the gold. Your company’s objective is to garner GutShare™, not meaningless mindshare. You will achieve this only with a strong brand, or value proposition. The brand, not jargon, unlocks the customers and, hence, the profits.
Parting Advice to CEOs
Stop punching your customers: they don’t care about your products, technology, or jargon, and they don’t want you to bombard their heads with it.
Customers care about themselves. They buy solutions and value, and they make purchase decisions in their guts. Embed this axiom in your branding, product development, and sales training.
The only way to know your customers, garner GutShare from them, and brand accurately to them is through direct contact — not by remote control. The more you rely on social media, the less you’ll understand human behavior and emotions.
Note: Ignore the aforementioned and customers will deem your company a real headache.
POSTSCRIPT #1: Millennials Don’t Care About Owning Anything, Destroying Traditional Retail
About the Author
Marc Rudov is a branding advisor to CEOs,
producer of MarcRudovTV, and author of the book,
Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding.
© 2015 Marc H. Rudov. All Rights Reserved.