In the course of 2012, we heard quite a few CEOs and managers say they really like the idea of “listening more to customers”, of becoming more “customer-centric” and of wanting to “excel in customer intimacy.”
That’s a good start because thanks to the digital age, customers have become very powerful: they can make or break the image of your company without any effort.
What do you need to make customer-centricity work?
How? Don’t talk, but listen. Really listen. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Involve them in everything you do to collect new insights. And turn great ideas into action.
That is why we wish you a great 2013, full of empathy and imagination!
1. Stop broadcasting
Stop broadcasting, Broadcasting is the main ingredient of old school brand building.
2. Start brand being
Start being your brand and living your brand. Start being just the one you really are. It is not worth it trying to behave like somebody else, you can only become a mere shadow of what you never will be.
Be your brand. And be so with passion. Walk your talk and listen to others with enthusiasm.
3. Be different
Be different. Be different from the other brands you tend to compare yourself with. Be a brand that surprises many.
4. Be relevant
Be relevant. Be a brand that surprises, but don’t surprise for surprise’s sake. Surprise people in a relevant way. Be relevantly different. Brand being, or being relevantly different, is the key to conquer people’s hearts and minds.
5. Challenge yourself and take risks
Success cannot be obtained without challenges or taking risks. Challenge yourself and dare to take some risks. Not a single success in history has ever been reached without taking risks, calculated or not.
6. Be prepared to fail
Be prepared to fail. Most people have a very bad relationship with failure. They see it as a dead end; they see it as a plan that didn’t work out because their idea wasn’t good enough. The truth, however, is different. Most people fail often before they reach success. If you want to get really good at something, you will have to be prepared to fail at least a few times. If your first try would be a major success, it would be like winning the lottery. Don’t fool yourself, and don’t expect to gain the lottery.
7. Expect resistance
Expect resistance. Some will laugh at you, others will be mad at. Some will ignore you from fear of being associated with you. Others will envy you. Don’t blame the others for their behavior. They are obstructing themselves by their conservative thinking, and they feel better with perfectly fitting into the box they have always been in. They are afraid of failing. Respect their choice.
8. Be different, brave and stubborn
Be different. Be brave and stubborn and follow your dreams. Being different can have two outcomes: either you fail or you reach success. But no matter how often you fail, see each failure as an opportunity to learn and to gain experience on your way to success.
9. Dare to fail
Dare to fail. When you look at great people throughout history, you see that they have the following in common: they failed and failed often; and they kept on trying because they were convinced that failure represented opportunity, not defeat. So, dare to fail. Though it may seem a lonely road, you can never be the first one to fail.
10. They failed
“Try and fail, but don’t fail to try”
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10.000 ways that won’t work”
(Thomas Alva Edison)
“Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street”
“Failure is not failing down but refusing to get up”
“There is no failure. Only feedback.”
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery”
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
11. Being prepared to fail is the prerequisite to success
Being prepared to fail is the prerequisite to success. The main thing is to never give in, and keep on going on your enthusiasm and determination. Eventually you will win.
12. We wish you many interesting failures on your way to success!
Wishing you a great, inspiring and successful 2011
Ann & Co