(Con)fusion Kitchen

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This is as much to clarify current marketing schemes to myself, as it is hopefully to help anyone understand the vital aspects of today’s marketing; so basically the minimum to survive in the marketing jungle out there. The initial need to set things clear was personal though, as at times I just couldn’t grasp what’s cooking (…good looking : ) in today’s marketing kitchen, so below I ‘sketched’ a marketing micro-environment, a community of about 100 people, for the scenario to take place in. The case stays valid even if up-scaled.

So, let’s take Mike. He’s very talented and innovative chef, yet currently unemployed. One day Mike comes up with a brilliant idea. He’ll set up a cooking-service in his community of about 100 people. The idea is to go into people’s homes to prepare them (singles, families etc.) a home-cooked gourmet meal when they come home from work or possibly for later dinner. Mike would do this solely from the ingredients available on site. His very modest fee is determined by the time he spends in the customer’s kitchen.

There are many advantages in Mike’s idea; it provides much needed help for people tired from day’s work. It’s optimizing the use of existing household ingredients, thus minimizing the amount of throw-away-food. Lastly it’s affordable and designed for anyone (who eats).

So the defaults here hold water. Mike’s product is very valid and working. So next for Mike it’s coming out of the closet with his brand-persona and service, then getting as many as possible to use it (yes, Mike’s ready to hire extra hands). Then of course have the customers come back and initially become his loyal customers.

There’s chronology in the beginning of this hypothetical launch. After that it’s all about listening to people, then quickly reacting to any discoveries by adjusting, tweaking or even u-turning the actions and/or the communication around the product or service. And then just repeating that process. Se here goes.

Who is Mike? = Prime brand creation

  • pleasant trustworthy appearance, believable and lovable (back)story, irresistible tone-of-voice, unique and professional promise
  • consistency in all this

What does Mike do? = Semi-targeted bought media marketing

  • “shouting” to get the community of 100 to know Mike; who he is and what he does
  • “shouting” because Mike does not yet have exact knowledge about who he is communicating to

What does Mike stand for? = PR, events, earned media marketing

  • words and especially actions supporting Mike’s ‘brand’; his values, beliefs and the product
  • f.ex. preparing a gourmet student-lunch at the community school from previous day’s left-overs

How is the overall experience of Mike? = The product/service itself

  • It has to be at least ‘good’ for Mike to ‘survive’
  • Luckily Mike is top notch and the delighted customers recommend him to community peers

Why should I stay with Mike? = Customer data enabled dialogue and programs

  • Mike starts to have deeper understanding about the individuals and families in his community
  • He now knows what they like, when they like it and even why they like something

Why I can’t live without Mike? = Engagement and true customer loyalty

  • Because Mike is truly listening to individual people, he is seen more as a friend than a service provider; he’s become part of the community’s daily life, making their live’s better
  • Mike has recognized shared values to truly bond with the community and its individuals
  • Mike rewards continuity, gives unique benefits, develops the service to meet individual needs etc.
  • Now understanding the community and it’s people Mike is able to identify new business opportunities and to extend his service with new services and products

And then finally for the big surprise ending: there was NO technology (marketing tech or any other) involved in this story, as Mike was operating in a small enough community. But like I noted in the beginning, the case stays valid even if up-scaled; to hundreds, thousands, millions. Then tech becomes crucial, but it’s the ‘who’s’, ‘what’s’, ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ that matter. Technology is the enabler, never the reason.

So that’s my childishly idealistic and squeeze-scaled perspective to the thing called brand experience. I really needed this thinking and writing process, and I really hope the read is worth your while also.

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