Five Behaviors That
Inhibit Customer Allegiance
Excerpted from The No Bull Branding Course Companion, a workbook by Lori L. Barr, M. D., International Health and Lifestyle Expert. The workbook covers the curriculum of the No Bull Branding Course offered at Wizard Academy, a non-traditional business school in Austin, Texas.
Just as some habits bolster intra- and inter-organizational loyalty, there are inhibitors that stifle allegiant environment. Below are five inhibiting behaviors contrasted with the steps of business innovators that deepen the bonds.
A fear-based individual or corporate culture can only lurch forward toward goals. The Board of Directors smothers a bold ad they fear will offend a segment of the customer base. A web designer is afraid of losing clients if she doesn’t play it safe with SEO. What one is afraid of does not matter. Fear is chaotic. It inhibits coherent decision-making. Customers buy products and services to minimize their own fears. They intuit fear much like a horse senses a nervous rider. They have enough of their own fears. If they cannot feel the faith a company has in its own solutions, they will keep looking for another answer. Business innovators weed out ideas and routines that inject fear into their production line. As a result, they glide along the path to their goals.
Blur Reliability and Predictability
Customers want reliable solutions to their problems. They want a pain reliever to work as well tomorrow as it did yesterday. Reliability is key in helping the customer develop repeat purchasing habits. Predictability, in contrast, is a magic cloak that renders a service invisible to the client. The business leader who underestimates the mind as an adept at ignoring the boring is doomed to invisibility. Small business owners are tempted to spend their entire budget on one great ad and then use it everywhere all the time. When it is overplayed, the customer’s mind searches elsewhere. Innovators seek ways to add novelty and surprise to their presentation without a sacrifice of the product’s reliability.
Misunderstand a Brand
Entrepreneurs and inventors may focus inward as they deliver an idea from conception to production since this is “their baby”. Advisors encourage them, “Establish your brand!” Those mentors fail to remind their protégés of the historic use of brands and how that impacts a customer’s thinking. Ancient Egypt was the birthplace of livestock branding. Human slaves and animals were branded so that owners could easily recognize their belongings in case of co-mingling. Savvy business owners don’t mind it if their customer wanders in the competitor’s territory as long as he or she comes when called. They nurture the relationship and pay attention to the customer’s journey. They serve as the shepherd and protect their flock from the wolves.
Kick Back and Get Lax
Remember back to dating days. If a guy didn’t call regularly, then the girl was harder to reach. After a certain level of success is attained, there is a trend toward complacency in business practices. Resist the urge to rest on past successes or to take for granted that conditions change. Innovators embrace forward momentum and instigate needed change.
Failure to Create Competition
Try to capture the size of a whale while scuba diving or a mountain while hiking. If there is no human-sized object to add scale to the image, then the viewer doesn’t grasp the magnitude. Customers need a reference point to judge the merits of exceptional products and services. Apple products become bluebonnets when PC’s are as generic as dandelions. Innovative leaders encourage competition. Everybody wins when the best products and services reach the customer.
From The No Bull Branding Course Companion, a workbook by Lori L. Barr, M. D., International Health and Lifestyle Expert. The workbook covers the curriculum of the No Bull Branding Course offered at Wizard Academy, a non-traditional business school.
The next No Bull Branding Course is Tuesday, May 25, 2010 from 9-5 CDT.
"Your imagination is a time machine. It takes you to the future where you enjoy the rewards of your labors."
- Lori L. Barr, M. D. Author of Tame Your Mind, Save Your Life