I just came back from a trip with a few customers of mine. I have been on several trips with these guys and they have become real friends to me over the years; the kind that I genuinely look forward to seeing. Whenever we are together, it is a good-natured battle royale. From the minute we say hello to the minute we say goodbye, anyone is a possible target of the group, and when the group turns on you, it can get ugly. We are brutally honest with each other and it is really refreshing. Sure, most of that is couched in humor, so it is a constant belly laugh. But at dinner over a glass of wine, that honesty continues and we really speak the truth as it relates to our business. It’s even to the point that when someone new is introduced to this group, they think I am crazy for attacking a valued customer the way I do. But with these people, that is just the way we do it. (more…)
With the passing of Steven Jobs last week, much has been said about the impact he made on the world. Think about it: This guy was fired from Apple, hired back, stole the portable music business away from Sony, changed the entire digital music industry, stole the cell phone market away from Nokia and Motorola and changed the entire mobile industry. Just about everything he touched turned to gold. He made his impact by living his life and dreaming big. (more…)
We live in a world where everyone has an opinion and they aren’t afraid to share it. But when it comes down to it, how are we incorporating these opinions into our marketing and product development?
Going along with consumer research, these crowdsourced opinions are incredibly valuable because of their raw, unfiltered sentiment. People who are voicing these opinions because they have a strong reaction, whether positive or negative. Do we prefer reading opinions, or looking at websites that incorporate user feedback? On one hand, it’s beneficial because it has us step back and look at our efforts from an outside perspective. It shows us what works, what doesn’t work and what just plain stinks. On the other, it also forces us to realize that we aren’t perfect and that we won’t be able to please everyone all the time. This is still beneficial to us because we can assess our own strengths and weaknesses internally. (more…)
I love it when the “Best Places to Work” list comes out and you get to read about companies that are getting it right. I was reading this article from the Harvard Business Review about attributes that can help you get on that list. It inspired some thinking on my part.
The article makes a great point: Instead of worrying about what you can get out of your people, shift your thinking to, “What more can I do for my people?” Doing more for your people leads to them giving you great results. Only 20% of employees around the world report that they are fully engaged. REALLY?! Are we so wrapped up in a quarterly report full of numbers that we don’t grasp the simple idea that happy employees make a happy customer? We must be, because if we really believed in that idea, more of the companies we worked for would engage us differently. (more…)
I am getting SOOOOO tired of reading press releases or visiting websites that tout the latest and greatest from my friends in the mattress industry. “It’s better!” “New and improved!” “Improve pressure relief!” “Less motion transfer!” “Sleeps cooler!” “More comfort!” “Lasts longer, more durable!” These things are great to say and most of it is relevant to the consumer, but are they just words?
What you rarely find following these statements are facts about how they were arrived at to begin with. Where is the testing data to support the claim? Have you done your testing or research? I bet that I could come up with around 10 claims that people make in this industry and cover about 90% of what is being said out there. My question is, how much can people prove, or are they just following the leaders (whoever they are)? (more…)