There’s this quote from Oprah that Dave uses in his book. “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” It may sound a little hokey, coming from the richest woman in the world. I hate to get going right out of the gate about the pains of being inauthentic - you can get that all from the third chapter of Dave’s book. But here’s why you want to be authentic. It’s simply more profitable, in terms of human factors. Nothing builds employee retention - and just ask Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher or Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Both dealt with Authenticity in two different way. Kelleher has always kept an employees-first policy, refusing to lay off staff even when competitors were doing it, left and right. Schultz took personal responsibility for a critical error in brand strategy that completely diluted his brand, by expanding too fast. When customers and employees see you being 100% authentic, they come back. When, they don’t, they don’t. It’s that simple. And if you don’t believe me, read the last 5 years of the Edelman barometer studies. The biggest gain, in the last 5 years is that people trust regular employees and people like themselves. AUTHENTIC PEOPLE.
Out of Dave’s whole book, this is the hardest chapter to read. There’s some embarrasing stuff in there, like when he said something pretty stupid on reality TV. I’m not gonna spill the beans - you gotta read that one yourself. This is another one of those things that goes inside and outside company walls. When you’re transparent with your team and your employees, they stick around. When you’re not, they don’t. It’s that simple. What you’re looking at here is Dave’s team’s strategic plan. Yes, it’s the real strategic plan. If you really want to download this deck and print it out, you’ll get a copy of their internal documents. We’re not talking about transparency to the point of stupidity here - what some people call radical transparency. I remember about 5 years ago there was a Wired magazine issue about radical transparency. At, first, at the age of 30, I thought it was super smart. Then, I realized that there’s a degree of sensible transparency that actually benefits your team and your customers at the same time. There was a book written in 1986 called Honest Business, and one of the strategies it advocates is called OPEN BOOKS. It’s where your customers, suppliers and employees are allowed to look at your books at any time. Now, to do this with RADICAL transparency would be to simply post your books on line. On the other hand, smart transparency would be to allow customers, partners and employees to LOG IN to look at the books, and perhaps having some kind of basic approval process to verify WHO is seeing the books.
What’s that line from the Navy Seals, Dave - “Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.” The “hacker way” has defined the culture of the company. The foundation of the “hacker way” culture is the hackathon, an all-nighter that occurs every few months at the company. There’s only one rule at a hackathon: no one is allowed to work on anything he or she normally does. This is the chance for Facebook engineers to try out a crazy idea and create new products to show Zuckerberg and othermanagers. This intense event has resulted in many of Facebook’s high-profile features, including, more recently,Timeline. So, let’s say you don’t run a tech company, and you’re thinking - “How can I apply this to my company?”Well, let’s say you’re running a disrtibuted team, which is my opinion is the hardest kind of team to run - that’s when everyone is not in the same city. My wife’s company works that way. The company 99Designs has a tight team community - they have a great site that allows graphic designers to build company logos. They have a team awards ceremony where team members can nominate one another to become the 99er of the month. Some companies, including my own, do what’s called a SPOT BONUS, which allows one team member to give another one a bonus, right on the spot, for doing something that’s highly in the spirit of teamwork.
In the past, cars were unveiled at auto shows, but Ford decided to unveil the new Ford Explorer in eight cities simultaneously and on Facebook, giving fans exclusive advance notice. All communications efforts, from broadcast media to digital integration, were focused on the launch. On July 26, 2010, Ford finally unveiled the Explorer with a combination of earned, owned, and paid media creating incredible results. Ford was able to reach 99 million people on social and 400 million online, with 500,000 home page visits as opposed to the normal 10,000. The company calculated its marketing efforts had greater impact that day than if it had bought a Super Bowl ad. The Ford Explorer was the number one trending topic on Twitter and number two trend on Google, ousted by Lindsay Lohan due to her recent stay at a rehabilitation center. Ford was the first auto maker to reveal a vehicle via Facebook, and for its ability to adapt to changing market conditions, the company reaped much better results than it would have with a traditional auto show press launch: sales went up 100 percent from the previous year.
Surprise and Delight - First, let’s talk about surprises. A Boston restaurant chain, Boloco (According to a 2011 study on the promotion, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business determined that a Free Burrito Day pays for itself in about 15 days. The study also found that on days following a Free Burrito Day in 2010, Boloco saw a 20 percent increase in comparable sales and, following that, Boloco saw a 10 percent increase in permanent sales.) So, let’s get back to that whole mistake as opportunity thing - I’ve done a few stupid things in my company’s history. About a year ago, I sent out an email that made a reference to obesity and McDonalds that I thought was really hilarious. It wasn’t. And about 20 people emailed immediately to complain. So, sure, I could have made some donation to a children’s health organization. Instead, what I SHOULD have done was put on a 2-hour training class for the children’s health community on how to use social media to achieve community health objectives. Every time you stub your toe, as a brand, you have an opportunity to leverage that mistake into something that’s truly good, and real. But you need to get your ass into gear really fast, in order to do it. For me, the McDonalds email was a missed opportunity.
There’s a reason that the iPod and the iPhone were immensely successful. Singularity of purpose and amazingly good design. Now, you can argue that the iPhone does 250 different things, but the DESIGN concept is singular and simple - Apple is saying, we’re going to take what we did for music - made it 100x better, and do that to your phone - one button.. The value proposition is inherent in the brand. Now, with what your company’s doing - you need to ask yourself. Is our value proposition and product simple, or are we trying to be 100 things to 100 customer personas. If your product or service does not appeal rabidly to 3-4 core personas then you are doing something wrong. You cannot create demand without creating LIKE. and You cannot create LIKE if everyone thinks you are scattershot, and not doing something that fills an urgent need for them.
The Donors Choose staff sent handwritten thank you notes to half of their recent first-time donors. The results showed a direct correlation between the act of being thanked and the likelihood of giving again. In fact, those who were personally thanked were 38 percent more likely to give another donation, proving an actual ROI of gratitude.
So, to top it off, I’m gonna throw in a kicker. For everyone who purchases 100 or more copies of Dave’s book, I’m gonna include 10 bonus copies of my best-seller, The Social Customer, so you can give your executive team a training on demand-generation and social customer management.
Making Your Business 110% Likeable:11 Ways To Blow Away Your Customers Expectations @DaveKerpen with @themetz Slideshare.net/DaveKerpen http://bit.ly/Likeable110 #LikeableBusiness