I love marketing. Not sure where it started by a book that made an imprint, was “Lovemarks” by Kevin Roberts.
“Marketing 3.0” by Kotler was another one, which is a book about the absolute need for staff to love the company they work for. Which then brings you to a number of books, such as “Delivering Happiness”, “Reputation Economics”, “Reinventing organisations” and more recently “Firms of Endearment” or “Evolved Enterprise”.
Marketing that is more than skin deep. Marketing as a fundamental core of the organisation, including HRM and organisational structure and most importantly centred around the purpose of a company.
“Lovability” brings more of those strings together, including the attitude of entrepreneurs and start-ups to business. Why focus on pivoting, PR spin, fundraising, valuations and exits?
Why not just focus on customer delight? On building on relationships, quality, and real value creation. Putting the customer first and create traction by focusing on the fundamentals such as profit, people, service, relationships, transparency, trust. Back to days when grandad set up his company.
It is Brian Solis talking about customer experience in “X: The Experience When Business Meets Design”. You cannot afford to ignore love. It is the ultimate moment of truth. Are you creating a complete product experience based on loyalty, trust and love? Are you a love mark?
The complete customer experience
The focus on Complete Customer Experience across the whole customer journey. Every touch point. So you need to map thousands of customer interactions. Mapping friction, but more importantly, mapping emotion. That includes anthropology because data alone will not help you to delight customers or make them love you.
The book talks about your value and guiding principles as being a huge part of the product. What does your product represent? What does your company stand for? What will you always do and never do? What do you care about? The true north of the company as they will inform the behaviour of your staff towards your customer or when tough decisions need to be made.
The book talks about purpose. An increasing theme in business books. Why do you matter? Will you be missed? The purpose of your product is to help customers achieve something meaningful in a lasting way. Close to our strategic box.
All in the pursuit of love and building a relationship. The perfect antidote to AI and robotics. Forget MVP. Use MLP (Minimal Lovable Product). Forget valuation, focus on delivering value. Forget VCs. Forget scaling. Forget exit. Forget unicorn. Forget the home run. Forget sales. If your product is not good, no salesperson will make it lovable.
So focus on love. It’s better to have 100 customers [who] love you than a million customers [who] just sort of love you. It will make running or starting your company a lot more enjoyable. Create something that people love and success will follow.
The business reasons
Committing to lovability might not be the most exciting approach to building a business, but it is capital-efficient and minimises pivots and rework along the way. Because if your customers love you, they will not only remain fiercely loyal but become your most powerful marketing asset. UMOT on steroids. Or word of mouth in the days of the aforementioned grandad. Keep it simple. Put your head down, ignore the hype, and focus on your customers
Hugs, love notes and megaphones
Make lovability the only metric of success that really matters. Measure hugs, which are verbal expressions of admiration, recommendations and customer applying for jobs at your company. Measure love notes and measure megaphones, the people shouting about you in a good way.
Being loved has a lot of benefits to your organisation. Staff will be a lot happier and pro-active because they love it too. Your sales and marketing cost are minimal. It makes your company a lot stabler and financially secure. It makes things simple as well. If your relationship is based on love, trust and transparency, there is no need to pretend. Leadership is easier. Customer care is easier, with a focus on urgent interactions and complete focus on immediacy. Action always speaks louder than marketing. Every interaction is an opportunity to exchange value. Reinforcing your brand as a positive vicious circle.
The old ways are new again
Old-fashioned values and a focus on meaningful human interaction. The people who founded companies in past generations did not rely on massive funding and market hype to launch their businesses. They thought about their legacy, and that meant more than cash. The kept control of their business. They took the grow-at-your-own-pace approach with a focus on profit before growth. Making them more independent and valuable.
It is a no brainer. Lovability works. Relationship building works. Entrepreneurs and business leaders are beginning to figure that out.
Why do I like this book so much?
It makes me sing.
It reminds me of “Chief Customer Officer 2.0 (which is an underestimated book). It has a refreshing perspective on startups. At my age, grandad’s thinking is starting to resonate again. The principles are simple and it dovetails with a lot of other books we have been using in our sessions. It also gives you a blueprint and some toolsets, so you can get cracking straight away. Action DOES speak louder than marketing (or spin).