(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology
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(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology

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mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture ...

mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture

analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown
Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology
March 12, 2014 by Graham Brown (Edit)

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A TOOL FOR THE HEART: HOW WE USE METAPHORS TO SELL TECHNOLOGY
Apple II au musée de l'informatique (Paris-La ...

Apple II au musée de l’informatique (Paris-La Défense) (Photo credit: luc legay)

In a scene from Joshua Stern’s biographical movie about the life of Steve Jobs, he depicts a scene where a frustrated Jobs is trying to explain the groundbreaking Apple II computer to an industry colleague:

“We’re talking about the future.

We’re working in a market that doesn’t even exist yet,”

Jobs yells on the phone.

“What Intel has done for the microprocessor, we are going to do for the home computer [pause]

…How can you not know what I’m talking about?”

In another call he says,

“No ma’m but it runs on a TV monitor.

Like a television set, exactly.

No, it’s not a TV set.

It’s a personal computer.

Do you own a typewriter?

Imagine combining your typewriter with your television set.”

Jobs slams down the phone, falls back onto the grass, and screams in exasperation.

Jobs was a master storyteller and metaphors played a key role in how he communicated technology.

Consider, for example, how he used the imagery in 1984 to depict Apple in the metaphorical context of the creative underdog versus IBM “Big Brother”.

Consider also when asked to describe the iPod he simply called it

“A tool for the heart”

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(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology (Graham Brown mobileYouth) Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology Document Transcript

  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology A TOOL FOR THE HEART: HOW WE USE METAPHORS TO SELL TECHNOLOGY Apple II au musée de l'informatique (Paris-La Défense) (Photo credit: luc legay) In a scene from Joshua Stern's biographical movie about the life of Steve Jobs, he 1 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org depicts a scene where a frustrated Jobs is trying to explain the groundbreaking Apple II computer to an industry colleague: “We’re talking about the future. We’re working in a market that doesn’t even exist yet,” Jobs yells on the phone. “What Intel has done for the microprocessor, we are going to do for the home computer [pause] …How can you not know what I’m talking about?” In another call he says, “No ma’m but it runs on a TV monitor. Like a television set, exactly. No, it’s not a TV set. It’s a personal computer. Do you own a typewriter? Imagine combining your typewriter with your television set.” Jobs slams down the phone, falls back onto the grass, and screams in exasperation. Jobs was a master storyteller and metaphors played a key role in how he communicated technology. Consider, for example, how he used the imagery in 1984 to depict Apple in the metaphorical context of the creative underdog versus IBM "Big Brother". Consider also when asked to describe the iPod he simply called it 2 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org "A tool for the heart" DEFINE METAPHOR A metaphor compares two objects/things without using the words "like" or "as". One of the most prominent examples of a metaphor in English literature is the All the world's a stage monologue from As You Like It: All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; —William Shakespeare, As You Like It (source Wikipedia) STEVE JOBS MOVIE TRAILER More From Graham Brown's Series on How to Sell Technology Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology These 2 Social Experiments Show How Stories Sell Technology Why you need to become a Farmer not a Hunter to sell technology Technology Companies need to Embrace the Unofficial or Die Why People Buy Technology: Social Proof WHAT’S FUN ABOUT A BUILDING? Picture the scene: Boardroom meeting. Marketing presentation 3 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Product launch. PAUL (head of marketing) “These tests were conducted over a six month period using a double-blind format of eight over-lapping demographic groups.” “Every region of the country was sampled, the focus testing showed a solid base in the 9 to 11-year old bracket--with a possible carry-over into the 12-year olds. When you consider that Nobots and Transformers pull over 37 percent market share, and that we are targeting the same area, I think that we should see one quarter of that and that is one fifth of the total revenue from all of last year.” “Any questions? Yes? Yes?” JOSH (CEO) “I don't get it.” PAUL “What exactly don't you get?” JOSH “It turns from a building into a robot, right?” PAUL “Precisely.” JOSH “Well, what's fun about that?” PAUL “Well, if you had read your industry breakdown, you would see that our success in the action figure area has climbed from 27 percent to 45 percent in the last two 4 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org years. There, that might help.” WHAT'S FUN ABOUT THAT? SCENE FROM BIG WITH TOM HANKS The dialogue could be any scene from any boardroom anywhere in the world. It could well be a meeting you’ve sat in yourself. This particular dialogue comes straight from the movie “Big” where Josh (Tom Hanks) plays the role of a kid who never grew up, who assumes the reign at the head of a toy manufacturer given his extraordinary powers of empathy with the customer. Paul, the head of marketing, is the face of marketing everywhere. He’s the face of a marketing industry that tells its story to support the organization. Paul is the guy lost in data and graphs, the guy who has spent too many years fighting his way up the greasy pole to be told what to do by a kid. He’s the guy with the title, the big office and the big car. He’s not going to lose these readily. I never ceased to be amazed by how many Paul’s I’ve sat across in presentations who have paid good money for me to come in and share some insights about how youth are using their technology products for them to tell me, “yes, my 13 year old daughter does that at the breakfast table”. They just spend millions on an ad campaign that sells all the cool features of their latest device but completely overlooked how their 13 year old daughter used it to message her friends before school. And it’s there right in front of them every morning of their life. How could they miss it? 5 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Because when you become Paul, you stop looking. You stop thinking about metaphors that engage and sell. Somehow, we’ve lost focus on what marketing technology should be. Marketing has become numbers, strategies and campaigns where it should be people, stories and experiences. We’ve lost focus because we’ve got lost in the bowels of our own organizations. A typical “head of marketing” can be found doing what a typical “head of marketing” is expected to do: sitting in agency pitches, attending industry conferences, glazing over spreadsheets put together by the intern. Yet, look at the outstanding brands: brands like Apple, Disney or Go Pro and you’ll find them out there at the Frontline interacting with Fans. In the Hans Christian Anderson tale,“Emperor and his New Clothes”, the Emperor ends up walking around with no clothes on but his minions are so afraid to point out the obvious that they continue to complement him on this attire. Until that is a child calls him out for being naked. A child. Just like Tom Hanks playing Josh, the CEO, sitting there. Because children don’t subscribe to status quo or use the same metaphors we do. Because the metaphors we come to take as important in our tech world are meaningless to them - spreadsheets, charts, titles, big office chairs and so on. Many considered Jobs to be child-like in his behavior - both wildly creative and demanding. CHANGING YOUR METAPHORS 6 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org English: Characters in Main Street. Disneyworld, Orlando 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Metaphors aren’t just words. Metaphors are stories that can change everything. Waiting in line, security checks, lousy food options. Sounds like an airport? But, no it’s the “happiest place on Earth” - Disneyworld. Despite these apparent shortcomings, Fans save up all year, Fans bombard pictures of their selfies taken with Mickey and crew in front of Xmas elves pressed cheek and jowl with millions of others on Christmas Day. Fans consistently rate Disneyworld as one of the highest customer experiences of any brand in the world. How is this possible given airports would typically rate at the opposite pole of experience? At airports you are met by security guards. Security guards by their nature aren’t cuddly individuals who you take selfies with. 7 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Any form of photography is prohibited and these employees managing the airport hall are distinctly menacing in appearance. By contrast, Disney doesn’t have security guards or employees, they have cast members and their “hall” is a stage. How is it that the two organizations can produce profoundly different experiences? Choice of metaphor. Some may argue we are getting lost in semantics but I put it to you that words are metaphors and metaphors are powerful stories that contain expectations and codified behaviors. When you call your customers “guests” as Disney does, you have certain expectations and implied rules to guide your behavior about how you should treat guests. * You don’t frisk guests. * You don’t shout at your guests or brush them off dismissively when they ask for directions. * Guests are to be cherished and looked after. Rather than point it out on a map, a Disney cast member will walk you as far as necessary to help you locate a rest room or an attraction with the same care and attention you’d lavish on a guest to your dinner party. The difference? A word. A metaphor. A story. When you call an MP3 player "A Tool for the Heart", you also give license to those who work with it to think differently about its potential, sweeping away the 8 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org cobwebs of tradition. Monster Energy founder Mark Hall doesn’t lord his presence around HQ letting everyone know he’s the CEO by virtue of his reserved parking place or bigger office. He’s the Monster Man or as it is often written on his business card “Monster Maven”. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, sees his role as “Chief Happiness Officer” - the guy whose value addition to the brand is to create an environment where empathy happens naturally, where employees are empowered and motivated to serve customers. Rather than hiding behind his high back chair and corner office, he’s walking the floor, manning call center phones. When you change metaphors, you change roles; when you change roles you change the parameters in which people think they should behave. Starbucks creates Fans out of their customers not by producing a bulletproof marketing manual that everyone has to learn rote before they can interact with customers but in crafting the story that their Frontline staff adopt. These aren’t customer service representatives but Baristas. A Barista is a metaphor with its own codified behaviors. Baristas: masters in the art of crafting fine coffee. Metaphors override strategy and guide our behavior because we absorb them at the emotional rather than logical level. EXAMPLE MARKETING METAPHORS Bad Metaphor Good Metaphor Disneyworld customers Visitors, Passengers, Travelers Guests Apple iPod MP3 player, music player, A tool for your heart 9 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org digital walkman, portable music player Zappos Customer Service A cost center Our best marketing strategy ALL TECHNOLOGIES ARE METAPHORS When you produce, market or sell technology you are in the business of metaphors. And the best salespeople of technology are also the best communicators of metaphors: * MP3 player or 'tool for the heart' * End Users or Customers? * Value Chain or Partners? * App or Tool? Every metaphor contains its own codified behavior with its own set of outcomes. Every metaphor is a choice and every choice is a lever that creates change. Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org) 10 / 10