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EXTRA, EXTRA February Newsletter: The Super Groundhog Day Edition

super groundhog day edition

Today is a two-fer. It’s Super Bowl Sunday and Groundhog Day.

Greetings from arctic North Carolina. We’re on the heels of Snowmaggedon 2014. Unfortunately, it has become a harbinger of Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction.

No early spring according to our Groundhog and his shadow. Prepare for six more weeks of winter.

FEATURED POST:

3 Ways to Create Raving Fans Like the Seattle Seahawks

Are your customers giving you a 12th MAN Advantage?

BahyTP1IAAARFHZLast December the Seattle Seahawks broke the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd noise at 137.6 decibels. To put that sound into perspective, that level of noise rivals a jet engine. According to Popular Mechanics, it’s even louder than the 120-decibel implosion that took down the Seahawks former home, the Kingdome back in 2000.

These fans personify the term “raving.” The sound is legendary, so loud that it’s seismic. The cheering of the fans supposedly sparked a few mini-earthquakes.

century link-fieldHas this translated to success for the Seahawks? Absolutely. The team has lost only once over the past two seasons at CenturyLink Field. Many attribute this stellar home record to the “12th MAN” advantage.

How crazy are the Seattle fans? One fan named Tim Collins got a tattoo back in August celebrating the team winning tomorrow’s Super Bowl. Look for Collins today during the game. Doritos spotted him a couple tickets and a VIP trip to New York.

space needle #12Is there something in the water in Seattle?

I don’t believe its something unique to the franchise. There is a reason behind the madness. Here are three things you can learn for the Seahawks:

Click here to read the 3 things and the origin of the 12TH MAN

COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU IN FEBRUARY 

I’ll be making stops this month in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Atlanta and Raleigh.

February 5 – Women’s Council of Realtors of Raleigh (Cary)

February 8 – Principled Business Leadership Institute (Hyatt, Philadelphia)

February 10 – Rutgers University Guest Lecture with Professor Mark Beal (NJ)

February 11 – MENG Philadelphia Keynote (Bartley Hall, Villanova University)

February 19 – Triangle Sales & Marketing Council (Briar Creek Country Club, Raleigh)

February 21 – Customer Experience Design Workshop (Atlanta Tech Village, Buckhead)

February 22 – Principled Business Leadership Institute (Hyatt, Atlanta)

February 27 – High Five Conference Breakout Session (Sheraton, Downtown Raleigh)

February 28 – Raleigh Wake HRMA Strategic HR Summit (Marriott, Downtown Raleigh)

EVENT SPOTLIGHT

high5_headerOne event I’m pumped for is the first ever conference at the intersection of marketing with creative. It’s Triangle AMA’s High Five Conference and its being held at the Sheraton in Downtown Raleigh on February 26+27. Use the special code 9INCH when registering for a special 15% discount. I’ll be joined by ^5 amazing keynote speakers including Joseph Jaffe, Rohit Bhargava, Spike Jones, Lane Becker and Jeni Herberger.

BOOK REVIEW: THE HUMAN BRAND

Can’t recommend this book enough:

The Human Brand – How We Relate to People, Products, and Companies by Chris Malone and Susan T. Fiske

The Human BrandIn our evolution as humans, we were forced to develop skills integral to our survival. One of which was the ability to make snap judgements about our surroundings with a high degree of speed and accuracy. As we walked out of the “cave” our senses went immediately into survival mode. We judged everyone and everything we encountered on two basic criteria:

  1. Are they a threat?
  2. Their ability to carry out that threat?

This basic truth is at the heart of Wiley’s new book The Human Brand by Chris Malone and Susan T. Fiske. Their research has shown that over 80% of our judgements as based on these two factors. It boils down to our perception of two things: 1. warmth and 2.competence. 

These perceptions don’t just apply to people. We also apply the same standards to products and companies. We automatically perceive and judge their behaviors on a subconscious level. Brands are people too.

Read the entire review

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here’s a jab to $4 million dollar 30 second spots.

The two most important factors of how we relate to people, products and companies

Book Review: The Human Brand

In our evolution as humans, we were forced to develop skills integral to our survival. One of which was the ability to make snap judgements about our surroundings with a high degree of speed and accuracy. As we walked out of the “cave” our senses went immediately into survival mode. We judged everyone and everything we encountered on two basic criteria:

  1. Are they a threat?
  2. What was their ability to carry out that threat?

The Human BrandThis basic truth is at the heart of Wiley’s new book The Human Brand by Chris Malone and Susan T. Fiske. Their research has shown that over 80% of our judgements as based on these two factors. It boils down to our perception of 1. warmth and 2. competence. These perceptions don’t just apply to people. We also apply the same standards to products and companies. We automatically perceive and judge their behaviors on a subconscious level. Brands are people too.

Here is author Chris Malone talking about the two dimensions of Trust:

Relationship Renaissance

From the Local Village to the Mass Market to the Global Village

The mass market is a relatively new phenomenon. Merely 150 years ago we consumed almost everything made from people we know. A merchants reputation was as precious as gold. If a small business wronged you, everyone in the local village would quickly know about it. Merchants faced public censure, potential ruin and even losing a limb (see story of the “Bakers Dozen“). As a result, businesses worked hard to establish trust and earn repeat business.

But then the mass market emerged. Almost everything we consumed was made by a faceless, far off company. The voice of the customer waned. We were powerless to expose or punish brands that acted badly. Outside of lodging a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or writing consumer advocates like Ralph Nader, we were handcuffed.

Enter Digital, Social and Mobile. The internet has changed the game. In the words of author Chris Malone, “For the first time in history, the entire world is wired in a way that is consistent with the way evolution has wired us to think and behave.” Social has flattened the earth. Each consumer has the opportunity to share their experiences with millions of others. There is a huge ripple effect in the global village.

A phenomenon John Lennon famously called Instant Karma,

Lyrics from the Hard Rock Vault

Lyrics from the Hard Rock Vault

“Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna look you right in the face
Better get yourself together darlin’
Join the human race”

Need an example to drive this home? Look no further than Panera and the story of Brandon Cook.

panera-purple-goldfish

The Human Brand shares the touching tale of a Panera store manager who used good judgement to help the dying grandmother of a customer. Making soup and sending along cookies for good measure. In less than four weeks, a single Facebook post by customer Brandon Cook garnered 800,000+ likes, nearly 35,000 comments and scores of national media attention. Why? Because Panera empowered its employees to demonstrate warmth and competence by doing the little extra.

BOOK TAKEAWAYS: Consumers want to be heard. Social accountability is back and its here to stay. Consumers expect to have relationships with their brands. Companies must forge genuine relationships with customers. We now expect relational accountability from the companies and brands we support. Consumers will view the actions (or inaction) of brands based on warmth and competence. And warmth is absolutely key.

Chris Zane of Zane's Cycles

Chris Zane of Zane’s Cycles

The Human Brand is not just theory. It draws from original research, evaluating over 45 companies over the course of 10 separate studies. There are plenty of case studies. The book features in-depth analyses of large companies such as Hershey’s, Domino’s, Lululemon, Zappos, Coca-Cola, Panera, Amazon, Chobani and Sprint. It also touches on small to medium sized businesses with compelling case studies such as Dr. Kelly Faddis, the University of Dayton, Zane’s Cycles and Loeber Motors.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a game changer. I guarantee you will be rethinking your approach to customers and prospects after reading this book.

  • You’ll rethink your approach to loyalty programs
  • You’ll rethink how you prioritize people vs. profits
  • You’ll rethink ever doing a “daily deal” like Groupon or LivingSocial
  • You’ll rethink the cost of new customer acquisition vs. upselling current customers
  • You’ll rethink how important is to make the first step in demonstrating warmth and competence
  • You’ll rethink how your actions will be perceived through the Principle of Worthy Intentions
  • You’ll rethink how leadership can become the literal “face” of your brand
  • You’ll rethink how you handle a crisis

In the words of Malone, perhaps the greatest takeaway is this, “Companies need to embrace significant change in the way they do business with customers, better aligning their policies, practices and processes to reflect warmth and competence.

One word: AMEN

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here is John Lennon singing his classic, Instant Karma at Madison Square Garden: