Roy's Blog: December 2010

December 27, 2010

This is what happens when you choose weird customers

One path to stand out from the crowd is to choose a customer group to serve and do it in a way that is completely different than anyone else: products and services offered, the customer experience created and deep, intimate customer relationships could be the ways to succeed.

But there is another approach that might also work.

What if we targeted people who were:

— “weird”. Who have really different tastes than everyone else. Not just sightly different but orders-of-magnitude different?

— not just border line eccentric but way over the top?

— connected to people who liked to standout in a crowd?

— contrarians who refuse to go with the flow and go in the opposite direction?


They could be described as being odd in terms of the market norm (whatever that is).

What if we chose these people to serve and did everything we could to dazzle them?

Could that be a winning strategy in terms of establishing uniqueness and distinction in the cluttered and overcrowded marketplace that we all find ourselves in?

I think so.

The winning strategy might just be possible by picking different people to serve.

Pick different people to serve.

A normal solution to a weird person just might be revolutionary, remarkable and unforgettable.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 12.27.10 at 10:55 am by Roy Osing
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December 23, 2010

Why should marketing create happiness for people?

I find marketing for the most part today boring, lazy and lacking imagination.

Probably 95% of all marketing activity is spent flogging products to mass markets. So is the rest of the competitive crowd. Sameness proliferates. Undifferentiation happens. Corners are rounded to try and satisfy everyone with a bland result.

Product myopia is the result of a supply-minded view. Marketers are infatuated with the capabilities of what they produce. The coolness of their technology. The functionality of the thing.

Experiences marketing

The problem is, with virtually everyone follwing this marketing prescription, no organization achieves the exhalted position of DiSTINCTION, UnFORGETTABILITY, UnIQUENESS, GaSPWORTHINESS and ReMARKABILITY.

Consumers see a blur of offerings and capabilities with no one standing out from the herd. Value is a spoken word with no substance. It’s all about the “iron” of production. The secret desires of the fan are lost in the flurry of product management activity to ship the product.

The course of marketing must change if it is to be relevant in today’s markets.

People buy when they are happy.

Tangible goods don’t create long term happiness. If what-is-promised is delivered in terms of functionality, consumers rate the product only acceptable. No adulation and loyalty is produced. Happiness wanes and disappears into the feature cloud.

People remember experiences. They feel experiences. They talk to others about experiences. They buy repeatedly on experiences. They are happier when they are in a memorable experience. Not rocket science.

So why don’t marketers listen? Because we are a “push” enterprise society. But it has to change.

The new world marketing must focus on creating dazzling experiences for their fans. Where feelings reign supreme. Where emotion rules. Where marketing success is measures by how blown away the customer was with the experience offer rather than how many sold.

We have a long way to go. Marketing needs the experience virus.

Let’s add Experience Managers to the marketing organization to be held accountable to create offers that crystallize high emotion experiences based on the secrets learned about their high-value fans.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 12.23.10 at 11:00 am by Roy Osing
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December 20, 2010

What does a successful change leader look like?

Stand-out organizations are dominated with people who love change.

This is the difference between leaders of change and managers of change.

Change leader

The change manager…
- Loves continuity  
- Protects status quo                    
- Manages momentum
- Limply reacts to unforeseen events            
- Incremental change artist
- Huge Comfort Zone
- Tolerates change
- Takes baby steps
- Evolutionary speed

The change leader…

- Hates continuity; loves change
- Morphs current state to something new
- Creates discontinuity
- Brilliant reaction agent
- Breakthrough change driver
- Huge Discomfort Zone
- Drives change
- Takes Giant leaps
- Revolutionary speed

What if your organization had more change leaders than managers?

Remarkable not invisible. Distinctive not common. Unique not average.

DiFFERENT not dead.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 12.20.10 at 11:00 am by Roy Osing
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December 16, 2010

Is your customer service dead or alive?

DEAD service....
— Rules, policies and procedures are created to serve the organization’s purposes. They are put in place as control mechanisms to satisfy the auditors. They have the intended impact of keeping the customer at a distance. An arms-length relationship with the customer is the result.
Frontline responsibilities center around enforcing the customer engagement rules of the organization
— Leadership is in the command and control mode. Frontline empowerment is restricted.
— There is little or no flexibility for people to deviate from established procedures. Those who do so are punished in some way or another.
— Short term results are stressed. There is little time to build sustaining relationships with customers.

— Efficiency is the focus in customer contact operations. Call Centers are measured on the length of time they are on the phone with a customer and on the number of calls processed.
— Call Centers are outsourced based on economics. Service is driven by the need to reduce costs to the lowest possible level.
— No loyalty programs are contained in the marketing strategy.
Customers are viewed as transactions where the only thing that is important is the money exchanged.
— Customers don’t have personal identity. The organization considers mass markets to drive their activity.
— Telemarketing is used extensively and products are flogged to people without regard for the interruptions and inconvenience caused them.

Dead or alive service

ALIVE service...
— The organization has a culture of caring for it’s people and this transcends to how customers are dealt with.
— Leadership believes that their primary role is to serve their employees; to make it easy for them to do their job. They believe that if the frontline is served well from within the customer will be served in the same manner.
— Internal rules, policies and procedures are created in the image of creating memorable service experiences for the customer. Good business practices are of course applied but the organization is flexible enough to restrict the mandatory controls to the necessary minimum.
Frontline employees are empowered to bend the rules in order to say yes to a customer. The service strategy in play is to find a way to do what the customer wants and not enforce rigid rules.
— Service heroes are recognized constantly, reinforcing the importance of the serving ethic.
— Humanity is built in to service operations. Leadership understands that mind-blowing service is delivered by people not machines. Hi-Touch rallies over Hi-Tech.

— Call centers are not outsourced; they are considered a core competency of providing dazzling service.
— The quality of the customer contact is considered the primary objective. Each Moment of Truth is engineered to produce an emotion-rich experience for the customer.
— Quality of service measurement is based on the customer’s perception of how they were served. Internal operational statistics are used only to diagnose a customer perceived problem.
— The organization gives gifts to their loyal customers as a “thank you” for their continued patronage.
— The recruitment process is geared to finding people who love humans. The belief is that they can learn the business but are borne with the Gift of Serving.
The organization heavily invests in service believing in long term results rather than emphasis on the short term.
— Social media tools are extensively used to connect with and learn from their tribe.
— The organization is open to feedback and criticism; they use it to improve how they serve customers.

Dead or alive service. Which characterizes your organization?


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 12.16.10 at 11:00 am by Roy Osing
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