They say that your brand is defined by what they say when you are not in the room, this article suggests a room in which they might chat…
Imagine your customer sitting in a B2B support group for the category, product, or service you market amd sell into.
It’s a drafty community centre; the chairs are arranged in a circle, and the moderator makes it clear that this is a safe, trusted space.
The moderator, probably called Colin, explains that they don’t need to share their real names if they don’t want to, nothing they share will leave the room, and no one should be judged.
And, of course, there is coffee and doughnuts.
Everyone gets seated and guided by Colin; they go around the room, each introducing themselves.
“Please,” says Colin, “say who you are and the B2B product or service you use.”
They go around the circle, and it comes to your customer; she’s nervous and hates this kind of networking thing.
“Hello, I’m Wendy; I’m a <your product> user”.
How does the rest of the group react?
Do they gasp? A bold choice, they think, and smile with a “golly I wish my CEO would let me do that” look of admiration.
Do they nod with a neutral look as if Wendy had shared something as earth-shattering as “she breathes air”, the safe, dull choice, and quickly want to move to someone who might have something more exciting to share?
Do they look at her quizzically, “who?” they ask and quickly after that “why?”
Do they laugh and share their experience with “Oh my god, I remember that product” and ask Wendy if she still uses Netscape and if Bob still works in support – “he must be 70 now?”.
Do they ask, “Is that <old product name from 5 years ago>?” or is it <old product name from 2 years ago>?” Then, they go on to argue amongst themselves for a bit about the history of your category and who was bought by IBM or OpenText. Someone even mentions SAP, but no one remembers why.
Does someone accidentally blurt out the word “geek” before the moderator scolds them, this isn’t a place for judgment, he reminds them. Wendy blushes “Yes, we need a developer to do that”.
Do they smile thinly, lean in, take Wendy’s hand and offer her a hug? They feel her pain.
Or, something else?
Then, when the intros are done, how does Wendy feel?
Not just from the group’s reaction to her introduction but also from how she feels about the others.
Which reaction did she have to the person opposite her who said, “Hello, I’m Sonia, I’m a <competitor> user”, did she pity them, hug them or admire them?
And, which of the group does she want to talk to and learn from their experience when Colin finally breaks the cellophane on the doughnuts?
And, and more to the point, do you know?
Fancy more of this?
Subscribe to my Rockstar CMO Newsletter
I’m a 3xCMO, now a marketing strategy advisor and podcast host at Rockstar CMO. Although, I’m not a rock star, but a marketing leader, strategist, content marketer, columnist, speaker, industry watcher, and creator of ART (Awareness, Revenue, and Trust) for the companies I work with. But most of all, I am an enthusiastic tea drinker.
The half-baked thoughts shared on this blog may not reflect those of my employer or clients, and if the topic of this article is interesting or you just want to say hello please get in touch.