Today I was thinking about what topic I would write about and I realized that I haven’t been too good on adding content that appeals to the more business people. Although all business people are, or should be looking to up their game in the areas of self motivation, realization and awareness. But nontheless, I thought I would write about a concept that I found very interesting when I first heard about it, in the book Contagious. I was completely taken by this concept. In fact I must have put the book down 2oo times while reading it, just to write down some ideas I was having about a business I’m working on.
The idea is to make your business contagious in a sense that all people who have come in contact with it become infected with your brand and the experience they have with it. Then they infect others in their circles. If done properly, the outcome could be amazing. The book is really great and thought provoking, to say the least. So yes, give it a read if you like any of these ideas.
In order to get your company to a level where you could be considered contagious. You must start by figuring out ways to apply these 6 attributes to your company.
- Social Currency. We all want to look good and impress others around us and especially the people we care about. So we go about our lives , “keeping up with the Jones”. So naturally when we buy something or get something that makes us look good, we share! So the first step is to figure a way to project to your customers that your product or service will make them look good. For example with my deck company, I want my customers to feel like their new patio or deck will be the talk of the neighborhood. So I make them feel like it will be.
- Triggers. Figuring out a way to keep your customers thinking about your business or the experience they had with it is crucial to success at being contagious. Why do you think that so many companies give you a refrigerator magnet. Because when you see the magnet walking through your kitchen – subconsciously or not, you will bring up your experience with that company if it comes up in conversation later that day. Top of mind, tip of tongue. Create triggers in your customers life that remind them about their experience with you.
- Emotion. Simply put, when we care, we share. It’s simple, I know. But very real. Haven’t you ever had such a good experience with an organization that you had to tell your friends. And I don’t mean you just say “Hey, this place is great, you should try it!” No I mean you are emotionally connected with the experience you had with the organization. So when you tell someone about it, you don’t just tell them, you sell them.
- Public. When designing the way your product or service will come to your customer and what will happen while they interact with your company, think about how easy it will be to show others. If you build it to show, it’s automatically built to grow.
- Practical Value. So when your designing the system that is in place to create a contagious affect, your going to be figuring out ways to get your customers to spread the word. While that is important, it’s not going to work really well if you just have all these reason and reminders for you customers to share. People today are overwhelmed with these marketing tactics, already. So, to stand out and make sure your company comes to mind in when needed. You have to make your material something your customer can use. “News you can use”. For example; My deck company gives info to our customers that highlight how to care for your deck and some cool DIY things you can do with your new deck. So now, not only do our customers have some useful information to share, but now they feel cool sharing it because they are in the “know”.
- Stories. Here is the holy grail of your design. If you can create a way for your company to automatically get injected into peoples everyday stories. Well, my friend, you are golden. It can be very hard to do this if your company is boring and unable to connect to it’s customers. But on the flip side if you have designed you company to be there for the customers. To fulfill a need!.. Well… then it should be pretty easy. People will just talk about it all on their own. And that right there is the best marketing in the world! Hands down! If someone is telling their friends for their own reasons then that means that they are speaking with passion. And that is the best testimonial and marketing message that any business person could ask for.
Like I said with the last point, all of these are a lot easier to do if your business is sincere in it’s existence to be there for the customers. This way of business should be the norm any way. It makes becoming successful so much more achievable. Also keep in mind that this technique has a lot of potential to make your business a huge success. It also can have the opposite affect, if you create a contagious environment and the person has a terrible experience with your company. Well, then you probably get the idea.
To be excellent, we cannot simply think or feel excellent, we must act excellently.