Bumped into an interesting video interview, posted on The Brand Builder Blog about a new book buy Guy Kawasaki called Enchantment.
Anyone who’s spent any time in Social Media has probably at least heard of Guy through his voluminous Twitter account(s), as “one of Apple’s old marketing gurus,” or in his role as a venture capitalist.
I haven’t read the book, though it sounds interesting but the video itself had a fascinating take on building a business. In the video, Guy and the interviewer, Brian Solis, talk about the three pillars of creating a business that “enchants”: Be likeable, be trustworthy, and back it up with a competent (or better) product.
But here’s the interesting part: Guy says that to be an “enchanting” company, we don’t have to succeed wildly at all three. Using Apple as an example (based on his first-hand knowledge), he states that contrary to some people’s perceptions, Apple is in fact a very anti-social company. They don’t actively engage with customers, they don’t go out of their way to “listen” to the public.
In Guy’s mind, the reason Apple is popular is because they hit the product portion of their business so far out of the park that no one pays attention to anything else. The products provide such a great experience that no one pays attention to the fact that iTunes is actually a really clunky piece of software, that the iPhone was saddled for a long time to the worst U.S. domestic phone carrier (AT&T), or that the iPad doesn’t play Flash video.
He goes on to say, however, that other businesses compensate for less-than-perfect product with stellar “likeability” and trustworthiness. We go to restaurants all the time where the food is only “okay,” but we “enjoy” it because the experience and service are so great. Does Zappos really have the greatest selection of shoes, anywhere, ever? No, not really, but the level of trustworthiness is so high, that Zappos’ customers don’t even think about it. Their customers’ experience is based on something other than having every possible combination of boot, shoe, and color on planet earth.
So what does this mean for us?
It seems pretty obvious, but it’s about focus. There’s very few companies producing product at the level of Apple. If it was easy to build customer trust like Zappos has, more of us would.
So—do we know where we stand? Do we have any of the three right?
Every good business has to be competent, but to have any chance of “enchanting” our customers, we have to be excellent in at least one—and striving to build all three.
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