Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly – Bernadette Jiwa
Every successful business creates a new kind of customer. That customer’s story changes because the business exists. There is a before-the-product story and an after-the-product story.
Before-the-product and after-the-product story
Brands, businesses, movements, products, and services succeed by bringing meaningful change to people. There is a life and a way of being before the product or service existed, and a life and a way of being after it.
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Can you remember life before Google, with paper maps, telephone directories, brick-and-mortar everything, and keeping information in your head?
Users want to be understood
What customers crave, more than the commodity they think they are paying for is to be understood.
What they want more than a reliable ride to their destination, a comfortable bed for the night, or even a book, is to really be seen. What they want more than responsive organizations is personal relevance.
The value isn’t just in the data that businesses collect. What counts is how they use it to make their lives better.
The best inventions are never finished. Great inventors don’t just stand there, rub their hands together, and say ‘My work is done here’. They keep working furiously to create something even better. It’s part love, part necessity. Because if they don’t reinvent their ideas time and again, someone else will—rendering their life’s work irrelevant, or worse still, extinct!
Every business today, no matter its size or legacy, faces four massive challenges.
- Consumer consciousness.
Awareness and attention
Awareness and attention were the holy grails of every marketing strategy, so the way you became successful was to pay for more of both. But there’s a subtle change taking place.
People are choosing to spend their money with companies that take the time to get to know them and whose actions resonate with their values—companies that thrive by doing the right thing and by making things customers love, instead of by trying to get customers to love their things.
The gift of the digital world
Digital is an incredible medium, an enabler of businesses that previously wouldn’t have had a chance of succeeding without a factory and huge investment. But it’s not mastering the medium—understanding how the technology works—that matters; it’s how and why you use it.
You don’t have to become the best in the world at Twitter to be the best business in the world at what you do. The opportunity here is far greater than mastering the tools so that we have replacements for the old ways of broadcasting. Digital gives us opportunities to see our customers and be more responsive to their wants.
The best way to get attention
It’s easier than ever to spam whomever you want to reach because most people are just an email address and a click away. If your goal is to get and leverage someone’s attention for a split second, then, of course, you can.
The kind of attention everyone seeks, though, isn’t this meaningless interaction. It’s based on mutual respect and trust. And the best way to get attention, then, is to give it unconditionally first. to start whispering “I see you” instead of screeching “LOOK AT ME.”
The best — maybe the only? — real, direct measure of “innovation” is change in human behaviour.
They don’t disrupt industries, but they disrupt people’s lives for the better. Any innovation that is adopted or idea that spreads succeeds because enough people want the change that happens as a result.
Success doesn’t come from simply making things work—it is born from changing the story of the user or customer for the better.
How the user wants to experience a product
Sustainable businesses have long been built on understanding the importance of how people decide, as much as on knowing what they buy. And great innovations are born from believing that the way people use a product is just as important as how it works.
It has never been more crucial for innovators and marketers to pay attention to how the user or customer wants to experience a product or service.