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May 3, 2021
We've been talking a lot on this blog about the Inbound Marketing Framework and about the process that you should be sending your customers through (check out the Customer Value Journey and the process of optimizing your business for growth and profit). Both of these processes, however, will fail without 2 crucial things.
1) You need to have a great product or service. Good marketing won't help you sell a bad product or service - it will help you go bankrupt quicker.
2) You need to be able to create excitement around your product or service.
Excitement in business can be kind of a weird thought, right? Think about the last time you got really excited about a product or service. Was it a recent car purchase, or a new iPhone, some other piece of tech? Something else?
A lot of people think of Apple when they think of a company going out of their way to excite their customers. From their sexy packaging to how easy it is to get started with their products, Apple products just work - they're delightful to set up and start using.
I also like to think about Tesla. Sure, Elon Musk has taken a ride on the crazy train, but his company has a really wild way of getting people excited. During a Tesla test drive, they hit the pedal to the metal and do a Tesla Launch, where they go from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds.
Here's why these are effective.
1) They immediately give the user understanding as to what the product offers. For a new iPhone or Apple Watch, it starts up and they're configuring it within seconds. For Tesla, they see the power of an all-electric vehicle and it expands their mind as to what an electric vehicle can do.
2) They create a sense of wonder in the user. Holy smokes, unpackaging my new iPhone was delightful and I honestly don't think it could be easier to set up. It just works with all of my other devices and I didn't have to think about it at all. With Tesla, it's holy shit, that was like a rocket ship and it could be mine.
One part understanding, one part wonder. If you can strike this balance with the delivery of your product, you'll create fans for life.
Now, it's easy to look at Tesla and Apple and say, "Yeah, of course they get people excited. They're huge companies with unlimited budget and they sell really cool products. What's not to get excited about?"
It might even be easy to think, "How in the world can my small business compete?"
Let's walk a few more examples, and see if we can identify some places where we can go out of our way to truly excite your customers.
Dollar Shave Club. I love this company. They sell really uncool stuff - razors and hair products. BUT they've figured out how to sell it with some swagger. So when you buy into Dollar Shave Club, you're buying into this funny, cool image that shaving should be better. They've got clever lines written on all their packaging, and they make you feel good about your purchase.
Similar thing with Public Goods. This is a company that sells household items - things like cleaning supplies and soap and such. Their stance is that they vet and source all their products, they're easy on the environment, they plant a tree in the Rain Forest for every order, and they make you feel really good about doing business with them.
So, this brings me to my first question. When it comes to your product or service, can you make people feel good - or feel differently - about their relationship with you, your industry, or themselves?
When I shop at Public Goods, I know that my soap is natural (which makes me feel good), it makes me wonder about what's in other soaps (reshaping the way I look at the industry), and I view myself as someone who is doing their part to try to take care of the planet. It's not the same kind of excitement as, say, the Tesla Launch, but the understanding and wonder is there, and it makes me feel really good.
What about for service industries? If you don't offer a product really at all, you're just there to fix a leak or install the internet?
Think through the problems and pain points that your customers have in dealing with your industry. Many service companies give wide windows for when a technician might show up, which makes it hard to plan your day. As a business owner, can you address this to make it more delightful for people to do business with you? For instance, can you set up automated texts to let them know when the job before is finishing up and you'll be headed their way soon? That could be a really simple way to leverage technology to 'wow' your customers, solve a problem that a lot of people in your industry might be having, and make it really easy for people to do business with you. Again, maybe not as sexy as Tesla, but definitely providing understanding into the process and creating wonder at how easy it is to work with you.
If you'll recall from the Customer Value Journey, the Excite Stage comes just after your customer makes their first investment of time and/or money with you, and it's really important that they get really excited about that purchase. If you're optimizing your business for profit using the Customer Value Optimization framework, Excitement is crucial for them to even look at subsequent offers.
You've got this - just remember, find a way to incorporate wonder and understanding into the delivery of your products or services to delight your customers and put yourself in a strong position to outperform your competition.