Roy's Blog: March 2011

March 28, 2011

Give customers what they don’t expect


Satisfy customer needs? Most people already have what they need, and to be a needs satisfier is a tough assignment. The better mousetrap approach usually leads to offering a lower price. Follow this route and you’re CoMMON, FoRGETTABLE and InVISIBLE.

Meet customer expectations? Where’s the juice in that? I am not blown away when someone gives me what I am expecting. Fall below my expectations and I am annoyed and I leave telling all and sundry how crumby you are.

Meet my expectations and I am satisfied but no more than that (how many of you are thrilled when the flight you are on actually arrives at the correct destination?)

Exceed customer expectations? This is at least notionally the right course of action. Go beyond what I expect. Give me MORE of what you led me to believe I was getting and I might talk you up you to others.

I suggest we start thinking about giving customers what they DON’T expect.

The “unexpected strategy” is effective in dazzling someone and making them devoted to you.

Here are some considerations:

1. Know the customer’s secrets. Secrets represent the fuel for the unexpected strategy. If you knew I loved Italian red wine, you might have the ability to present me with a gift should the opportunity arise.

2. Opportunities flourish in any organization to deploy secrets.
Marketing - add a secret dimension to value-based offers you create.
Customer Service - when a service blunder occurs and you have screwed a customer around, build your recovery action plan around the secrets you know about them.

3. SURPRISE the customer and you might just take their breath away.
Product fulfillment - take a page out of Zappos’ book and send the product ahead of when it was promised.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series



  • Posted 3.28.11 at 11:00 am by Roy Osing
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March 14, 2011

How to build a “wtf” personal brand

Your personal brand defines the values that you want to be known for in your organization. When people in the organization, particularly the foxes, think of YOU, what do they see?

What attributes of YOU immediately come to mind for them? What words do people inside the organization use to describe YOU?

Your brand should be consistent with your personal ONLY statement. If you have decided that your marketing skills and expertise address a critical organizational need and that only YOU possess them, your brand should be built around your engagement in the marketing revolution of your business.

Here is a process to build your brand:

1. Identify WHO you want to SERVE - the foxes who make the majority of career decisions in your organization
2. Dissect your competition to understand the “brand field” you are competing with
3. Create your ONLY Statement - “I am the ONLY one that…” as the way to define your uniqueness
4. Build your brand statement around your ONLY
5. Define the key elements of your brand
6. Develop and continually practise the behaviors that demonstrate each brand element

As you develop your personal brand, use the competitive analysis work that you have done on your main competitors. In addition to your own competencies, let their strengths and weaknesses guide you in your brand.

Ensure that your brand addresses the critical issue of the day for your organization by continually measuring and refreshing your only claim. If your brand doesn’t respond to a compelling and relevant need that your business has, it will simply fall on deaf ears and be perceived as merely self serving.

However if it resonates with people and is consistent with a strategic imperative of the business, AND makes you the currency leader among your peers, your brand will lavish you with job satisfaction and career growth.

Develop a communication plan to expose your brand both internally and externally:

- Offer to do presentations on your chosen brand topic.
- Get quoted as a subject matter expert in any internal communications media your organization uses.
- Write articles for your organization and for external publications on your brand content; be the thought leader.
- Offer to talk to customers on your brand topic. Help them in any issues they have, and get known on the outside. In my case many of our customers were interested in what we were doing in the area of serving customers as well how we were transforming from a monopoly to a competitive business. I had many speaking engagements to air my brand.
- Talk to the media on your topic. Make it interesting for them. Get them calling you. Your organization’s reputation will over time be influenced by YOU. 

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 3.14.11 at 10:00 am by Roy Osing
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March 7, 2011

Don’t let marketing brand anything!


A few observations on branding as it is practiced today…

1. Most organizations don’t spend enough time choosing a brand name that resonates well with their customers. I don’t think these companies appreciate the opportunity at their disposal. What a great way to show their innovative and creative bent to the market. What a great chance to demonstrate their remarkability to their fans; that they get what is needed.

ACTION: Make branding a strategic exercise to demonstrate that you are a market leader, constantly innovating for your fans.

2. Product managers are typically given the task of coming up with a brand for their new product or service. Quite frankly, I think they are too close to their work to do this effectively. I most cases, they create a name that is far too technical and merely describes what the thing does as opposed to the VALUE it creates for the customer.

ACTION: Engage folks in the branding process who are NOT traditional marketing types but rather are free thinkers with a strong customer orientation. Keep the Lawyers away. Get the “digital thinkers’ involved.

3. Not enough time is spent on what I would call “Search Engine Due Diligence”. Owning an unforgettable brand means that ONLY you have it and that it is ranked #1 on Google. If you’re NOT #1 then how can your brand BE DiFFERENT and memorable? It can’t.

ACTION: Make this THE prime critera for any new brand. First question to ask: “Where would the name ranked on Google?” Do you own the brand or don’t you?

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 3.7.11 at 11:49 am by Roy Osing
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