WHAT I LEARNED recently at a Vistage all-city conference in Charlotte was:
That 'love' belongs in the business world, and without it, we're empty of passion, drive and personal responsibility. Many thanks to @steverfarber who taught Charlotte CEOs to ask four questions:
1. Why do I love my business and how do I show it?
2. What do we really do here?
3. How do we change the world?
4. How can I personally demonstrate what I require of others?
Farber told a story about Gillette, a brand that is crystal clear about what they do: Leaders there say, "We own the face." Working at Gillette is the shave tester at who for decades has trialed new Gillette products every single day. He loves his job. "I bleed every day so people can have a better shave."
That video is where it's at on social media, and it better be where you are with your strategy, according to @timlevy. 60 seconds or less is the average visit on a website. But on You Tube, the average visit is 41 minutes. That's the power of video. And the next 'big thing' – a tsunami aimed at marketers – is 'virtual reality.' He notes: "If you have a product that needs to be shown and experienced, you had better be looking at virtual reality right now."
That CEOs of all kinds of companies, plus recruiters who work to place talent, are all highly engaged and concerned about creating a culture that sells. Executives no longer believe that the 'culture thing' is fluffy, but rather imperative to supporting the business results they seek. And CEOs are beginning to see the connection between culture and 'brand.' Said one executive: "It seems like culture is inside and brand is outside, but they're the same thing." Bingo!
That brand guru and global speaker @ GerryO'Brian of 'What Big Brands Know,' is a master of breaking down why brands matter for executives who are not at the helm of major product companies. He has simplified the brand discussion into four basic questions:
1. Who are your ideal customers?
2. What are they looking for?
3. What is your outcome?
4. What is your 'because'?
O'Brian's offered a case study for Coors Light. During a time when all sales for national beer brands were falling dramatically, O'Brian led a team at Coors to a strategy that increased sales by $ 250 million annually. Through research, Coors learned the top 8 most important things beer drinkers want from a beer. Regrettably, all but two of the top 8 customer desires for beer were already claimed by formidable competitors. What was left was "cold." Coors decided to go all in and own "cold." Thus, today, Coors Light: Has rolled out a new can whose blue lining preserves the cold refreshment of mountain brewed beer introduced labels that turn blue with the beer is at its best coldest temperature; brews their beer at below 30 degrees and keep it that way until it arrives in your hand; developed cold activated bottles; designed bottle packaging that can turn into a cooler and hold ice at your event; and a host of other innovations that continue to boost sales today in a market that continues to migrate to craft beer. Coors Light clearly answered the questions – males, aged 24 and over, looking for ice cold beer, who will buy Coors Light because it promises the coldest beer on the market, thus boosting beer sales for Coors. They found their 'because.'
That one simple measure of leaders comes down to one very personal question. When is there more energy – when you enter the room, or when you leave it?
That the connection between love, company culture, brands and energy is that business leaders care deeply about things and much more in their very human drive to build the best company they possibly can.