I'm off on a week's vacation -- so you won't see anything new from me. Lucky you.
Here's an interesting post from Seth on brand management vs. tribe management. It's good (as always.). But there's a flaw in his semantics: can you really "manage" a tribe?
I don't think so. Traditionally tribes are led. Often by an ever changing cast of charactors. Or a heriditary chief is bound by the guidance of a counsel.
If today's brand tribes are being led, it certainly isn't in the traditional sense.
Grabbed a bite to eat this afternoon at a pizza joint. I got there at 1:42pm and noticed a professionally designed (and engraved) sign that read:
Individual slices available from 11:30 to 1:30 only.
Yes, the underline was really there. Why? Why? Why? Was the frustration of customers coming in at 1:42pm wanting slice of pizza too much to take? Did the underline, which was clearly born out of annoyance, bring the sign's creator some peace? Some sense of power?
The policy is stupid -- you're a pizza joint for goodness sake! But I can live with stupid policies. I'm used to them. What I don't get is why a company would make such an effort to let their customers know they are a pain in the rear.
I love Jimmy Buffett. I think he truly is one of the great American poets. Here is a one of my favorite Jimmy lines from his song "Coast of Carolina":
And the walls that won't come down
We can decorate or climb
Or find some way to get around
For most of us, the sooner we make a decision on which one we're going to do, the better.
Many business have three types of customers:
Each of these customers have different needs. And each have different stories that they need to hear:
Who they are What they need
Capitalist the bottom line
Engineer details, details, details
Visionary can I get what I want
Often instead of paying attention to what our customers want (need?) to hear, we go forward with our canned sales pitch. That doesn’t cut it. It’s simply not good communication.
Obviously most people have a mix of personality characteristics. But for me, simplifying the audience into high-level “categories” really helps me to clarify the message and, more importantly, tailor it so that it fulfill the listener’s basic needs.
And it shows.
They are a horrible company (nearly as bad as American Airlines). But you already knew that.
I've made well of over a dozen phone calls over three days to try to fix my phone problems. They still aren't fixed. Worse of all, no one seems to know what's going on. I've been cut off at least five times -- five times! -- and they're the phone company.
(I'm actually on hold with them now.)
Yes, this post is a little of a bitch session. But I also wanted to comment on what happens when you are (for all intents and purposes) a monopoly and you act like it. It isn't good.
See, I could have gone with other phone/connectivity companies. We decided to take a chance and go with the big guy. We thought it would be simpler. We were wrong.
If you are a big company stop acting like it. No good can come from it.
As hard as we work at doing great work, often I think we get paid because of our ability to get stuff done. Stuff bureaucracies can’t easily do.
This comes from a sense of urgency that is part of our culture. Part of mine and my partner Ron’s core personalities. And one of the main attributes we look for in all new hires.
Why put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today? Why put off ‘til later today that you can do this morning? Why put off ‘til this later this morning what you can get done now?
Yeah, it sorta leads to unhealthy levels of pressure on yourself, but the rewards seem worth it.