his happens quite rarely: changing preferences. Human beings inherently have a high loyalty index even in the present world of unlimited options. And that is the paradox in today’s world. We have multiple things in a single minute that are seeking our attention. We also have hundreds of thousands of people who are seeking to do business with us.
I saw a very interesting post from one of the people I admire: Seth Godin.
Six missions after Apollo 11 amazed the world by going to the moon, Apollo 17 was the last trip. It fell off the cultural radar. Flying to the moon, driving around and getting back safely wasn’t interesting enough, apparently. And the miracle of the internet, which connects billions of people, instantly, is something we all take for granted after less than a generation.Is it any wonder that your magnificent Facebook post or clever tweet isn’t racking up ever more likes?
The Critical Question
Today, I am writing with these attention seekers in mind, knowing very well that I am one of them. What do you do to acquire the attention of your targeted audience? I think that is not the important question here. The critical thing to ask is: “If I can get their attention for a split second, will what I offer be more valuable than where their loyalty is at the moment?”
Like I said, this opportunity to choose for me happens rarely and in split seconds:
An ardent and loyal Coca-Cola fan visits her favourite retail shop for a drink. For some reason, there is no Coke today. In that moment, you can feel the time freezing. The background music is benign signalling the approach of the unknown. The Coke fan finally comes to that point of deciding…and ‘for now’ as a substitute, she picks Pepsi Cola. For the very first time ever, she takes a sip from the Pepsi Cola can…time stands still. She’s about to make a decision that will forever affect the sales at Pepsi Cola…
This is what happens on a daily basis, not when the same person is at the crossroads of choice, but when different people at different times consider you and me as their Pepsi Cola.
What do we do to make sure that their allegiance is to us? I believe the following points are critical.
It is very easy to get overwhelmed by the work of the leader in your segment, industry or niche. This should not cause you to drop your originality. Do not be a cheap copy of someone else. Learn all you can from them but do not overlook or under-estimate the power of your originality. People naturally love what is real, authentic and original.
I heard someone say that if you aspire to be a public speaker, the world today will judge you as if you are a TED speaker. This, I believe is not as far as content is concerned, but it has to deal with excellence in delivery of what you have. It is important that on a consistent basis, you keep updating yourself to the standard of the market leader.
Again, it is easy to get overwhelmed with what you think is your far cry in comparison to what the market leader has in terms of resources. This can lead people to stop doing what they can, thinking that they will ‘resume’ when they have it all together. In the process, your product or service is not seen anywhere. Translation: You are unserious. You gave up. You are no longer ‘in the game’. If someone was to choose, they would select whoever is ‘current’, not a ‘former flame’.
I think we have to make a conscious choice and effort every time to improve our product and service. Our best resource has and always will be time. It is very easy to know who has invested an awesome amount of time in their service/product. It is also easy to know those who have neglected it. If I am to choose you, I will do so because I know that you have spent your time building it.
This is the magic of it all! It is so amazing how loyalty can be transferred easily just by a mere recommendation. If someone you trust points out a product and they ‘claim’ that that product or service is doing them good, chances are that you will subscribe to it too. The key here is that if you follow the four steps above, step 5 becomes automatic in gaining loyalty.
So there you have it. Let’s do this. Makes sense?