As running a business becomes more like a roller coaster ride, going beyond simply selling products and services has become more important than ever. Business owners must begin enchanting customers, turning customers into fiercely loyal fans and advocates of your brand, says business strategist Guy Kawasaki. But how do you go about it? Is it harder than it sounds?
Kawasaki, a co-founder of Alltop, a managing director at VC firm Garage Technology Ventures and author of , spoke on the topic at a recent workshop for small-business owners.
Kawasaki shared his views on how social media is transforming the marketplace, and outlined strategies for driving customer experiences and multiplying sales. Topics spanned from how to engage customers online to writing mission statements to planting many "seeds" over social media. He also talked about loving Ford Mustangs and admitted to being a big fan of Justin Bieber's business practices.
To be enchanting, Kawasaki says, you need to be trustworthy, have a great product and be likable. "People are not enchanted by people they don't like."
Here are some key takeaways from Kawasaki's talk:
- Answer your email. Business owners should engage as many people as fast as they can. Respond to every email you get within 48 hours, Kawasaki says.
- Empower employees. "You say to people, 'I think you are smart, I think you have good judgment and I empower you to do what's right for the customer,' " he says. This can lead employees to master new skills, work independently and toward a larger purpose.
- Trust people. What's more, it's often a good idea to "default to yes" when people come to you with a problem. "Have it in your mind that no matter what people ask you, you're going to try to help them and do what they ask," he says.
- Engage your audience on social media. Focus on wowing "LonelyBoy15." Don't waste your time seeking the attention of the media elite and other influencers. "Nobodies are the new somebodies," he says.
- Put in the effort. Kawasaki recommends Justin Bieber's movie, Never Say Never, as one of the "best marketing movies ever," with lessons for business owners on viral marketing, mentoring and plain old hard work. "If you want to [learn] about word-of-mouth marketing, there's a scene where Justin Bieber's people go into the parking lots at concerts, looks for girls who don't have tickets and hand them tickets," he said. "It will bring tears to your eyes what joy those tickets bring those girls."
- Keep your mission statement short and sweet. The longer the mission statement, the less effective it may be, according to Kawasaki. "Think mantra, not mission statement," he says.
- Make a high-quality product. To Kawasaki, Ford's Shelby Mustang GT500 is the perfect example of a high-quality product. How can business owners create great products of their own? "Do something 'DICEE,'" Kawasaki says. DICEE is an acronym for: Deep, Intelligent, Complete, Empowering and Elegant.