Tell them what to do, not how to feel

Tell them what to do, not how to feel

message
In one of my latest posts, I talked about the rule of three and how brands, governments, and organisations use it to convey their message clearly.   This week the British government changed the lockdown message from Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives to Stay alert. Control the virus. Save lives.  After the new broadcast was released Google searches for Can I visit my family? hit the roof.  Compare Stay at home with Stay alert.  I know what staying at home means, but I’m not really sure what staying alert implies. Stay alert is open to interpretation and is fear-based, as if something bad is going to happen. The natural reaction to Stay alert is to try to understand what I am and am not allowed to do.   Why did the government change the message? Probably because they wanted to…
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The power of the Rule of Three

message
In times of uncertainty we find ourselves considering why we do what we do, as we need extra motivation and focus to keep us going. Agendas are shifted and priorities change. Most of all, we look for clarity. During this pandemic each country has created its own way of sending a clear message to the population. If during the Second War World the British made popular: Zip it! Careless talk costs lives and Keep calm and carry on, these days we’ve been hearing Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives and Catch it, bin it, kill it. These messages are clear and have been crafted to ask people to do something very specific that can have a major impact in exceptional times.  These urgent messages that are designed to catch…
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We’re sorry for our mistake

We’re sorry for our mistake

customers, message, story
  Nathan Barry, founder of Convertkit, released a public announcement stating that the platform’s change of name from Convertkit to Seva would not happen. You can read the announcement here. The first two sentences are powerful: “We listened. We learned.” This statement refers to the reason that caused their mistake: it was over-confidence.  The statement is not a mere description of the facts, followed by “We will correct our mistakes and do better next time.” They explain how, after hearing customers’ concerns about the cultural and religious meaning of the word seva, about how people were upset because of the use of the word for a sacred practice to name a company, they decided to reconsider. Interestingly enough, when it came to making a decision about what to do they…
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The business of identity

The business of identity

Business, customers, experience, message
  Kimlicka said in his book Multicultural Citizenship that culture provides the spectacles through which we identify our experiences as valuable. A marriage is not just a contract if you are a religious person, and a kilt is not just a skirt if you are Scottish. Culture gives meaning to our life choices, but culture is no longer exclusively associated with national or religious groups. In our global world identity is constantly negotiated between groups and tribes; Muslim, feminist, parent, gay, activist, Buddhist, tech geek, Conservative or Green. Some of these identities were passed to us by our parents or our upbringing; others we chose to take on.  A culture can be given, but a tribe is voluntary, as Seth Godin explores in his book Tribes.  When you’re creating products…
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Do you need a script?

Do you need a script?

Business, customers, empathy, message
  The flight is packed and we have a 40-minute delay, but there’s a holiday vibe in the environment. It’s a sunny day at our destination and 29 degrees, and it seems that the due to good weather conditions the delay is just going to be 20 minutes after all. Right before landing we start hearing the safety announcements, including all the information that most of us have heard thousands of times before, and that includes the appeal to donate to a charity, but this time there is something different. The flight attendant spends more time than usual explaining what the charity does. She goes into detail. She seems to know what she’s talking about. When she passes down the aisle she is actually collecting money, people are contributing and…
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Marketing in a noisy place

Marketing in a noisy place

Marketing, message, story
Do you feel overwhelmed when you use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and see the number of posts, likes and comments coming from businesses like yours? Do you feel that it’s difficult to tell the story of what you do while competing for attention? Do you know that what makes your product or service relevant is not the number of people who know about you, but the number of people who actually love what you do? Marketing is not about being the noisiest, and it’s not about being everywhere; it’s about having a deep understanding that when you ask people to buy your product or service they’re buying a promise from you, they’re trusting you. They want something more in their lives, they want something different, they want to go somewhere,…
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Meet them where they are

Meet them where they are

message, pitch, story
  My grandmother never got a degree, never worked outside the home, and like many women of her generation she stayed at home and looked after her children. When I got my degree she bought me a watch. Although she personally believed that women’s best place is at home and looking after children, she was very proud of my achievement. To my dismay, after I got my first job as a researcher at the university she was proudly telling everybody in town that her grandchild was working at the library. To her knowledge, researching was not a job, but spending ten hours a day at the library was one, wasn’t it? At least, one she could talk about. Sometimes we insist in telling our story to customers who are not…
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