Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come. Photo by Associated Press.
“You should sing for everybody … it has to be interesting and it has to last … it never becomes old-fashioned. Make people feel good.”
Pretty much sums up what we are all supposed to be doing. Businesses included.
Yet making customers and employees and regulators and recruits feel good feels mysterious these days. Bennett has something in encouraging us to sing for everybody. When we set a tone of inviting everyone to the table, we demonstrate respect. Something everyone is craving right now.
- Customers are smart, they do their homework and they vote with their feet. They understand their options and connect with products and producers on their terms, armed with facts they gather about performance across the landscape. Customers are loyal when we create products with justifiable price tags that address a variety of variables, not just cache` or quality. We have to know and honor those variables. And keep up with them.
- Condescension is immediately detectable and called out, and it pushes stakeholders away. Even when, on paper and in the buyer personas we spend millions to assemble, we figure target customers and influencers would never abandon us, they will and they can.
- It’s clear that people want more than being labeled and relegated to arbitrary categories, no matter how glamorous the data gathering. Our analysis must catch up with our technological capability. In the 2016 election, millions were spent on polling practices supposedly using the most sophisticated technology. Yet the pollsters and their pols did not take into account things like how people might maneuver around seemingly obvious questions to tell their truth.
Singing for everyone calls us not just to keep it real but to know what is real — and to find real ways to connect and welcome all stakeholders.
Here is 2017. The best is yet to come.