Why do customers come to you?

It is always fascinating to me to observe how little real communication seems to go on between customers and the business that serves those customers. It seems reasonable to assume that if we market and customers show up at our door, we must be doing something right. If we weren’t, they wouldn’t be coming. The fact that they come tells us that they love our products and services just as they come. Is that really so?

The most poignant example of customer feedback was shared in a seminar I attended a Continue reading

Are you selling quantity or quality ?

There are two main ways to sell products and services (this includes applying for a regular “job” as well, by the way). I would call them the “McDonald’s style of selling” and the “Armani style of selling”. The marketing style of each of these types is different and produces different results.

McDonald’s Restaurants and similar businesses owe their success to size, consistency of products and service, and impeccable business systems. Because of those things, they can afford to charge less than other restaurants. They don’t advertise “good” food, they advertise that it’s Continue reading

The secret to Innovation: Think Like a Kid

“I’m not a creative person.” I hear that all the time from clients when they first start working with IDEO. It’s an offhand comment, meant as an excuse for not being able to come up with innovative ideas on their own, but behind it lies a fear of failure—of being judged by others. While it’s tempting to blame oppressive corporate culture for this crisis of creative confidence, its roots can often be traced to the classroom.

If you’ve ever watched young children play, you know what Continue reading