Make Business Simple – My Four-Word Rules For Success. #6 in a series.
We͛ve spent the last few weeks talking about my four-word rules for business success. My goal remains simple: I want to give you easy to implement tools, tactics, and techniques to make your business – and your brand – better.
Each rule is only four words long because often that͛’s all it takes to make a huge difference when you build your brand and your business.
Throughout his career, Frank Lloyd Wright designed enough breakthrough buildings to not only become one of America’s most famous architects but to also be the subject of a song by Simon & Garfunkel.
Besides residences, Wright also designed a corporate headquarters for S.C. Johnson and a school campus – Florida Southern University. In fact, the Lakeland Florida campus holds the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright structures in one place.
Wright not only designed the buildings, but also created the site plan and dictated the land usage for Florida Southern. Legend has it the world-renowned architect left only one thing out:
When Wright presented his site plan there were no sidewalks. Instead, he told his patrons, “I’ll come back in a year and build the sidewalks AFTER I see where the kids walk.”
Wright knew that despite his best efforts to plan the traffic patterns for the campus, it was the users who would ultimately decide the best ways to get around.
Years ago, my parents’ restaurants sold a frozen orange juice dessert called an OJoy (OJ for Orange Juice. Get it?). After a few years they introduced a new dessert that swirled the orange OJoy with vanilla soft serve ice cream. It tasted just like a delicious Creamsicle and should have been a big success. The marketing geniuses named this new treat the “Son of OJoy.”
Only trouble was, consumers were embarrassed to order a “Son of OJoy.” Instead they’d ask for “one of those orange and vanilla things,” or “an OJoy with vanilla ice cream,” or some other clumsy made-up name. It wasn’t until we changed the name to the easy-to-say “SnoJoy” that sales picked up.
Avon created Skin So Soft to be a hand and body moisturizer. Skin So Soft users decided the lotion was more effective as a mosquito repellent.
Viagra was fomulated to treat high blood pressure and chest pain. Users discovered the drug was a little more effective a little further down the body.
My four-word rules for success #6? Your Customer Knows Best.
The smartest start-ups understand that no new business plan survives five minutes with the customer. Instead, they put a team together that is ready to zig and zag – to improvise and innovate – until they figure out where their products – and their customers’ desires – intersect.
As you build your company and your brand, always pay attention to what your customers buying habits are telling you.
Because Your Customer Knows Best.