Which Brand Would Make The Best Lover?

There you are. Just you and a friendly stranger. Waiting in line. Sitting next to each other on a plane or train. You talk about companies. About brands. And one of you asks, “Hey, if a company were human, a real person, which brand would be the best lover?” What if you asked ...

Unexpected Boost to Purchase Behavior

To rethink a customer-rewards program for a client, I thought about an art teacher who wanted to encourage her students to spend more time practicing their drawing. She created a “Good Drawing Certificate” to reward her students. And she made a big announcement and placed posters in the classroom about it. ...

Play the Fool to Deliver Brilliance

The answer to how you can win a customer’s pre-purchase trust is found in the ingenious manic one-word mantra of the child: “Why?” Here’s how it works. 1. Get your clients to a round table with excellent coffee and snacks. 2. Play the Fool. Be the court jester wise enough to ...

Nice vs Wow

Next time you’re considering a visual for, well, absolutely anything representing your brand, consider the difference between the two responses: “Nice”         or “Wow”     Ask yourself, will it: 1. Stand Out from the 1,000s of images they will see today? 2. Stop+Engage them in feeling, thinking, and ...

Surprise: Your Brain Craves…

  Our brain is constantly scanning the environment looking for anything that is dangerous. This also means that the unconscious brain is looking for anything that is new or novel. The brain is not only looking for the unexpected, it actually craves the unexpected. Water vs. fruit juice —  In a ...

Which Brands Would You Date?

No focus groups. Just you and a friendly stranger at a cafe or waiting in line. One-on-one conversation. About all kinds of things. Like what people buy and why. So, you have some fun and ask, “Well, if a company were a real person, which brand would you really trust?” ...

CEO: Know Thy Social Self

It’s not “social  media” that CEOs need concern themselves. It’s more a common sense leadership thing about knowing one’s self and one’s company’s Social Self.  A company’s Social Self can be a revenue-influencing metric that shows a CEO the comparative values between its company and its competitors when and how ...

Gladwell’s Secret Sauce

I have to bring us back to this classic Gladwell. It remains deliciously relevant to seeking a universal answer for making customer X satisfied with product or service Y. Don’t fret over the length of this talk. Malcolm Gladwell makes it fly. ...

Quick, What Did Your Spouse Just Say?

Or boss? Or doctor? Or leader of your country? Can’t exactly recall? Now, try to remember how they made you…feel. Happy? Sad? Confident? Confused? Angry? Now, THAT you can remember — the emotional experience you never forget. And it matters because it’s the 89% factor that’s driving your brand’s revenue ...

What Customers Never Forget (Part 2)

Don’t blink. You don’t want to miss your company’s best predictor of success. In just three more quarterly reports, by 2016, 89% of businesses will compete for brand differentiation. In one area: customer experience. Why? Because people never forget how you make them feel. They amplify their feelings about your product, ...

What Customers Never Forget (Part 1)

The biggest brands are figuring out how to get small. Small as in not just doing social, but being social. Understanding customers not as data points, but as people. In full human context and experience. Insight-rich social research flowing into their reimagined front offices. The C-Suite is getting it: the revenue-driving ...

What’s Love (Or Like) Got To Do With It?

Just how exactly do you actually listen to your customers?  How does your social technology reconcile social selling and social customer service with… being human? What’s love or like got to do with it? How do you tap into their all-too-human pain and happiness – their feelings – at the massive scale being ...

Why we look to others to save our ass

  You’re in a movie theater or a large event space, when smoke starts coming into the room from an air vent. It isn’t clear what the smoke is, if it’s dangerous, so it is, from your viewpoint thus far, an ambiguous situation. Whether you or anyone else — another ...

Brand Takeaway #1

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou ...

What Customer Experience Smells Like

Oooh, that smell…You know how the rest of the Lynyrd Skynyrd lyrics go. Can the smell of “death” in a pitch or relationship surround your customer? Can the smell of real warmth and comfort, trust and security, surround your customer with what can develop into a true love for your brand? ...

Why Your Brain Wants to Punch Unmet Expectations in the Nose

Track A: You’re waiting for a train. The platform sign says it will arrive in 12 minutes. So you relax a bit, maybe read your email or latest celebrity gossip. When the train arrives, on schedule, you’re a happy customer. Track B: You’re waiting for a train with no platform sign, ...

8 Ways to Rivet Your Audience

Here is the top reason your presentation can fail: Your presentation is boring. That’s it, that’s the top reason. Boredom kills interest, at every point of the total experience, from the ad or post you created to get them to the presentation, to choice of venue, signage, food and drink, materials, ...

Define Brand Strategy and Strategist

Strategy is the single driving cue. With this cue, you have a clear direction. It lights the way. Sets your tone. Ensures the feel. Drives nuance. It changes habit and creates craving. There is only one strategy. All else are tactics that support it. You can decide to revise a ...

Google’s Seven Bridges Theory

Can you guess how the drawing on the left and the Seven Bridges of Koenigsberg have inspired Google’s map routing? Well, as you would expect, Google uses sophisticated algorithms, based on graph theory, to determine the best route through a city or town—helping them capture all the images they need ...

When Is a Toy Car More Powerful than an Actual Ferrari?

Answer: When it’s made of Legos. In its annual “Power Brands” report, Brand Finance found that the Danish-based toy company overtook Ferrari to become the world’s most powerful brand in 2015. The $500 Million Brand Power Shift The power-brand score is a mix of qualitative measures – reputation, satisfied staff, logo ...

CEOs: Two-Compass Marketing

Dear CEO, We established that revenue growth is linked to two sets of values: 1. The Internal Marketing Compass, pointing us true north to our brand’s internal values of style, detail, emotion, discovery, trust, wow factor, and integrity. And 2. The External Marketing Compass, pointing us to our measurable external values of social ...

Which Brand Do You Trust?

What would your customers say when asked, “If brands were human, who would you want to hang out with? Kiss you goodnight? Trust?” CEOs, CFOs and COOs are, or should be, as invested in customer experiences as their CMOs. The C-suite is Getting It: the revenue- and innovation-driving value of social ...

CEOs: Internal Marketing Compass

Dear CEO, Enjoyed our lunch at MJ’s in Grand Central, and how we identified a big truth: some critical values that drive revenue can’t be measured by traditional economics. For them, we need a different behavioral economics tool: an Internal Marketing Compass that points to our brand’s internal values of style, detail, emotion, ...

Write This Down: Trust

You communicate in many ways — emails, telephone, instant message, face to face. But research reminds us not to forget the most powerful teller of trust. Paper. Researcher Charles Naquin showed how honest people behave when they communicate with email vs. pen and paper. In one study, 48 graduate business students ...

Those Screaming, Whispering, Crying, Laughing, Yearning, Rejoicing, Hating, Loving Voices of Your Customers

“The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers.” ~ Shiv Singh   Hear that? It’s the relentless, social-ricocheting of your brand’s reputation, advocacy, loyalty and revenue. If you’re a part of the social age (meaning, if you’re not dead or pretending to be), you are ...

Try to See Things My Way

According to neuroscience studies, Inattention Blindness or Change Blindness may be the reason your prospects miss stuff, even large changes, in their visual field. Here’s an experiment that shows you how this works. Something you want your prospect to see in your content may be essentially invisible to them. Especially ...

Convinced vs Persuaded, Part 3

  Four Freeze Frame Thoughts In 4 Seconds Before Climbing In That Car… 1. We feel before we think. Impulse is more powerful than reason, an odds-on favorite to do — or not to do — that thing you might accept or reject with more information and deliberation. 2. To ...

Convinced vs Persuaded, Part 2

”Cold as all hell, climb in, front’s ok,” said the shadowed face behind the wheel in the dark blue Ford that stopped to pick your out-of-gas ass up at two in the freezing morning on a lonely dark road in Godknowswhere… In context of the whole story, did you find yourself ...

Convinced vs Persuaded, Part 1

You can’t believe it. You. Hitchhiking. In the freezing cold. On an unfamiliar road at two in the morning. It’s been 66 minutes since your car ran out of gas. Forty-five minutes since you got through to the local police. “We’re trying to get a car out to you,” said ...

Proactive or Deceptive?

Trust is king. Trust is actively in play and at risk, at every opportunity the customer comes into contact with the brand. Brands that think they are ok and doing just fine by their customers by waiting, reactively, don’t care about or really know their customers. Not being proactive is ...
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