Here's a trick question. Who owns your website? Who owns your business? Surely it's you, right?
You couldn't be more wrong if you tried! So who on earth owns your business?
Well, who owns Coke?
Let's go back to 1985. New Coke was the unofficial name of the sweeter drink introduced in 1985 by The Coca-Cola Company to replace its flagship soda, Coca-Cola or Coke. Properly speaking, it had no separate name of its own, but was simply the new version of Coke, until 1992 when it was renamed Coke II.
Public reaction to the change was devastating, and the new cola quickly entered the pantheon of major marketing flops. However, the subsequent reintroduction of Coke's original formula led to a significant gain in sales, which conspiracy theorists believe was the original purpose all along.
So who owned Coke all long?
Well, it was the customers. And em…your customer owns your website. And your business. You can at best, be a caretaker. and create products and services that the customer wants. Of course, this has major repercussions.
You may, for instance, like the colour of your website.Your customers may hate it.
You may personally detest long copy.
Your customer may want to read the complete details.
You may personally want whatever you want. Your customer will tell you that you should be listening and giving the customer what they want.
So are you going to become a spineless jellyfish?
No, why did you get that idea in your head. You still have a lot of work to do. You still have to put together the products and services based on what you know.
But the biggest mistake most business owners make, is they fall in love with their products and services. And ignore what the customer is saying to them.
But often customers say nothing
They just don't give you referrals. They just leave. So before they do, you've got to keep probing. You've got to get their consumption levels up a whole lot more. And that's what going to bring back a customer who adores what you do. That customer will turn into a friend, helping you along the way, and forgiving you for your silly ways.
Customers can afford to forgive you, y'know. After all, they're the real bosses!
We were in love with our brand at millionbucks. We'd spent money and time, registering it as a company. We'd spent a lot of effort and moolah getting the logo right. And customers thought the name wasn't um…too great. Of course, they said nothing. And we listened to nothing.
But the day we changed our name to Psychotactics, they came forward with their feedback. They said: “Even though we liked your work, and we like you personally, we couldn't bring ourselves to give you referrals, because the name ‘millionbucks' sounded so trashy.”
Hmmm…You live and learn. Since then, all our websites, our whole business has been fashioned around customer feedback and participation. You'd be wise to follow the same system.