Traditional business thinking says that a company will be successful if it has a great value proposition. In this age of massive consumer buying choices and immediately shared rating within a customer culture, going to market on value alone risks that a company will be perceived as a commodity. The companies that will be the most successful will go to market on both value and relevance.
The world is complex. There’s a lot happening in it and it happens to your customers. If your company only wants to be relevant to them when you’re trying to sell something and they’re somewhat interested in buying it, okay. But that means you are choosing to be irrelevant to them for the rest of the time, which is a dangerous strategy.
Your company may understandably want to stop short of taking a social activism position on world events, but your customer experience can still reflect an understanding that the world exists beyond the company-customer relationship. It can show some attitude about what is beautiful about the human condition and make some comment about when that human condition is despairing to any reasonable human being. After all, people don’t trust companies, they trust people.
Always Do This
- Take a social (humanistic, not political) stand on world events that significantly affect your customers’ lives. Don’t pretend that the world isn’t happening outside of your company.
- For B2B customers, offer support – empathy, insight, solutions, community -- for urgent and chronic business issues.
- For B2C customers, offer support for issues that affect customers’ lives, above and beyond their business with your company.