#75: Stuck, with Byron Bignell
Sean Howard & Eric Portelance
Pretty big episode of my podcast Attention Surplus this week. As we’re about to enter our second full year of podcasting (and episode 75), we’re launching a revamped format. Would love your thoughts on this.
This week we discuss being stuck with Byron Bignell. He was “stuck” for over 18 years. Sean sat down with Byron to talk about being “stuck” and how to approach getting “unstuck.”
Note: We ran out of time in our episode and weren’t able to share all of the treatments Byron explored. While connecting with people was the start of his turnaround, he attributes a lot of his recovery to participating in a trial of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. We include this in case any of our listeners are suffering from clinical depression or know someone who is looking for additional therapies to explore.
In a recent article on the Harvard Business Review blog, Karen Freeman, Patrick Spenner and Anna Bird argued that our traditional thinking on customer engagement is dead. A study of more than 7000 consumers indicated that “companies often have dangerously wrong ideas about how best to engage with customers.” They attempt to debunk three marketing myths:
Instead, the authors make the case that consumer attention and trust are precious resources that must be cherished instead of abused. I want to take this a step further and argue that, as we are increasingly bombarded with media in every area of our life, that disruption marketing is dying.
It’s no longer good enough to tell customers about how great your product is and hope they will rush out and buy it. Especially in the digital space, consumers are increasingly looking for value and utility. Modern brands that truly get it and are succeeding in digital are those who have understood they need to stand for something meaningful and deliver on that purpose at every consumer touchpoint. They do so by creating compelling products, services and experiences that flow from that purpose.
Several years ago, Simon Sinek presented a simple idea called the Golden Circle in his TEDxPuget Sound talk ”How great leaders inspire action.” He argues that the traditional marketing model of What > How > Why is dead.
Here’s how not to inspire: “This is our new widget. We make these widgets using cutting edge technology. They’ll increase your performance by 200% and make unicorns happy. Want to buy one?”
People buy why you do it, not what you do. It’s time to flip the model and change the way we interact with customers.
Here’s how Simon presents Apple’s value proposition:
In everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, easy to use, and user-friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?
To truly embrace digital marketing, brands will need to understand that they need to start standing for something meaningful that consumers identify with, and create branded digital experiences that people care about – beyond a one-off contest or microsite. Some brands, like Nike, have shown that they understand this in the digital space far better than others. Brands who don’t get it are leaving themselves open to disruptive innovation from new or unexpected entrants.
#57: Future Collages
Sean Howard & Eric Portelance
Last week’s talk with Lisa Charleyboy inspired us to try an activity she mentioned: making a collage of images representing things we’d like to have or pursue in the future. We spent an hour or so before this week’s show with some good friends, some bristol board and a stack of magazines, cutting and pasting photos to produce a sort of mood board for our lives. On the episode, Sean and Eric discuss what they learned from the process and the end results.We also mention:
- 10Q, the online “question vault”
A very special and personal episode of my podcast, Attention Surplus, this week. We did a creative exercise about visually mapping out our goals and feelings about our lives over the next few years. It was incredibly powerful. In the show, we discuss how we approached it and what our initial feelings were.