chapter 3 listening to the consumer ­eliminates value

‘I love brands. I love it when they advertise to me and encourage me to visit their website. In fact, the more I see of their advertising and the more time I spend on their website, the better!'

Who has ever said this? I believe the answer is, ‘No-one, ever.' Unless your brand caters to fanatics, such as sports enthusiasts or fashionistas, most people don't want to be bothered by most brands, most of the time. I estimate that consumers think about your particular brand somewhere between 0.00 per cent and 0.01 per cent of the time. People don't care about brands, especially your brand.

Think about what ‘consumer-centric' means. If you put what the consumer wants and needs at the heart of your business, would your brand even exist? If it existed, would it advertise? If it advertised, would it advertise often? Understanding what the consumer wants and needs and genuinely delivering on it might mean your brand doesn't exist at all. Sorry, but someone has to say it.

Dinner with Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a best-selling author and way ahead of his time in describing today's holy grail: going viral. His first book, The Tipping Point, argues that trends operate in the same way as an epidemic. The book starts with the fascinating story of old-fashioned shoe brand Hush Puppies unexpectedly becoming the shoe of choice for downtown Manhattan hipsters. This trend was picked up by key fashion designers and eventually led to the shoes ...

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