It should always feel like this.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a restaurant, a store, a website, a bank, a doctor’s office, a manufacturing plant or a creative firm; ask yourself this: Is the work you are doing today going to have that kind of effect on your customers? On your clients? On your fans?
Is your work really going to connect with the people you are doing this for?
Are they going to fall in love with it? Is it going to impact their lives? Is it going to inspire them? Make them smile? Wow them?
When they talk to their friends about you, will it be with awe? Will they be singing your praises?
Are you a lovebrand? (Incidentally, check out Lovemarks.com. Interesting little concept.)
If not, stop what you’re doing. Put your pen down. Look around you. Think about why you’re there, sitting at your desk. Think about the project you’re working on. It could be a product launch. It could be a new menu. It could be a new floor display. A promotion. A party. A speech.
It could be anything.
Remarkable always hits the mark. Lovebrands always win.
The key to becoming a lovebrand is simply to love your customers first. I mean… seriously. Love them. Fall in love with them.
I’m not kidding.
Read Peter Drucker’s words in yesterday’s post about purpose.
If you’re a coffee shop, love them enough to give them the best cup of coffee they’ve ever had. If you’re a retail outlet, give them the best shopping experience they’ve ever had. Love them like you love a best friend. Do what you know will make them happy. Get to a point where you truly feel joy and pride when they love what you’ve done for them. When it enriches their lives. When you truly become part of it in some way.
Everything you do should be for them, not for you.
What you do, what your company is about, how you design your products, how you interact with your customers, none of it isn’t about like. It’s about love.
Either you’re involved in a wonderful love affair with your customers and clients, or you aren’t.
That is what fundamentally sets great brands apart from the rest of the crowd: Love.
Talk to a graphic designer about their Mac. Talk to a driver about their BMW. Talk to a photographer about their Canon lenses. Talk to a foodie about their favorite dessert. Love.
So, once again…
Buying a product. Bringing it home. Taking it out of the box. Pressing PLAY. Turning the first page. Pulling the cork. Clipping-in. Biting into the first slice. Slipping into it. Walking into the new store. Spraying it on. Plugging it in. Connecting the pieces. Reading the owner’s manual. Taking it for a spin. Just looking at it. Sharing it with a loved one. Holding it in your hand.
It should always feel like this.
photo copyright olivier blanchard 2005
You describe bliss, so why are we so often amazed when something performs as advertised? I guess that leaves room for competition to sneak in and steal market share. Thanks for an evocative read. @bizcoachdeb
Very true the perspective of customers being the real focus of ANY brand. “Windows instead of mirrors”. Period.
i must say that some categories are ‘sexier’ than others. It’s not that easy to make bank clients, for example, fall in love with the brand. It’s possible though.
Gabriel Rossi- Brazil
Thanks for pointing out the “bliss” thing, Deb. I’ll be pondering the bliss-love relationship as it pertains to the customer experience lifecycles for weeks now. 😀
Gabriel, I love the windows vs. mirrors image. And you’re right: Some industries and product categories are easier to sex up than others. On a broader scale, you could even argue that B2C has an easier time of it than B2B. I guess the trick there is to help redefine what “sexy” means to a particular category of customer or client. Does sexy = cool/hip or does sexy = wow, this works really well! Does sexy = pretty and shiny or does sexy = this does everything we need it to at half the cost?
Even in the biz world, sexy is as sexy does.
Financial service is perhaps more difficult because money is a more abstract concept than, cell phones, video games etc… Also, financial marketers tend to be so attuned to the financial side of their businesses that they sometimes forget customers have feelings, and that these emotional needs create great opportunities for zagging.
The difficulty is changing the mindset of the marketers themselves. If, by nature, you are uncomfortable standing out from the crowd, you may find zagging more difficult.
Gabriel Rossi- Brazil
This is my favorite, bar none, of all the posts I’ve ever read here. As a user experience designer and brand advocate, the feeling of love is the goal and the dream when I participate in product design or customer service process. What you depict is not like sex, so I find the discussion between you and Gabriel more of an aside than on topic. Love kept Apple users engaged and loyal in the years when the products were not as sexy. Love is more substantial than sex will ever be, so I feel it is totally in the realm of reality for a bank, plumber, funeral home or many other unlikely candidates to forge the bonds of love with customers, in the absence of a sexy product.
I love this post. You have a magical way with words that apparently resonate with me deeply and your gift of clarity is rarely matched, though there are thousands of great blog writers. You are unique. Now when is this all going to be turned into a book???
Great article! Thanks
I loved the way it had been written… with love 🙂
Great post, Olivier! This is exactly why I want to get into graphic design. It’s what inspires ME and something I consider to be a source of joy. I want to make that something I can share with others. I’m bookmarking this post as a source of inspiration for whenever I feel overwhelmed or frustrated.
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