Since we are in an era of too many choices competing for too little time, this blog is inspired from a book I just finished: “The 24-hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy.” By Adrian C. Ott
Can anyone relate to this statement? “Today’s customers are overwhelmed, overworked, and overstressed, and it seems that everyone – from CEO’s or soccer moms – is short on time and inundated with information. As a result, despite the availability of 24/7 commerce and countless ways of engaging people in our multiscreen (mobile, TV, and PC) economy, companies find it more difficult than ever to claim even a fraction of the 1,440 minutes in their customers’ precious 24 hours.”
How does time and value relate to branding? It relates on two levels:
1. For your target audience:
The more time you can save your target audience, the more they will like you and your brand. The more value you can offer your target audience, the more they will like you and your brand…and eventually the more they will pay and send referrals.
2. For you:
The more time you can save yourself, the more quality time you will have for the important things in your life to create balance. The more value you can create for your target audience, the better you will feel about yourself and how you are making a difference in our world…and eventually be able to make more money with less efforts.
The tendency of many companies in the current time-and-attention constrained world is to get louder – to promote more heavily on a broader variety of platforms with a jazzier hook. This might work in some instances, but for most products and services, this is an approach that drains customer time and attention, and is more likely to annoy and repulse than to attract.
Even though every business is unique, my favorite mottos will work as a solution for everyone: “Less is more.” “Quality, not quantity.”
Take a look at every step that your customer or target audience has to go through, and take a look at how you spend your day. Then figure out how to eliminate all of the unnecessary steps, actions and items. When you finish, take a look at your product or service offerings to dissect where the most valuable areas are and if you are delivering the most value you can.
For some inspiration to set the bar high, think about the brand promise of Apple:
‘It just works. No time required.’