Stuff. The things, the places, and the feelings that I get from being around that stuff. It seems like a good place to start. A good way to look at how we all value the days, really the moments of the days, that we have in life.
This is just me thinking at the moment. There are surely other ways to reflect on our emotions and feelings as we live day-by-day, but let’s just think a bit about times that we enjoy. About the tiny influences that change the momentary experience into something different than a bland or routine set of feelings.
The sound of the door closing on the VW beetle from my youth. It was solid, it felt like the car was sealed. It was very satisfying to the ear. Each time the doors opened or closed reaffirmed the wisdom of buying that car. Likewise, the heavy enamel paint seemed superior to the thin overspray seen back then inside the doors of US made cars. The car itself was modest. The cost was low. It was not very powerful, the heater was inadequate, the interior was small, and still, the Beetle was a cool choice. It brought satisfaction to many.
How about vent windows, as long as I am thinking about automobiles. I was content for years without air conditioning, having vent windows on my cars and trucks. Putting down the windows and popping open the vent windows to keep out the blast of air while driving was part of the joy of summertime driving. Why did the auto industry give up on those vents? Joy comes from little things much of the time.
How many details in our life have been scrubbed out that mattered to us? The smell and feel of an old library or bookshop, coffee brewing in the morning, a comfortable jacket. What can you think of?
I have a writing prompt that says, “Evoke a Feeling!”
What about in life? In business? Shouldn’t a business be trying to create satisfaction and joy for the customers? There seems to be an almost endless supply of these sorts of opportunities to bring customers to the realization that buying from you will be rewarding. That perhaps it can even touch the emotions that they haven’t been able to satisfy for lack of an empathetic supplier. Often it doesn’t cost much to fulfill the need.
Until now, I’ve been posting here with the intention of influencing the reader to contact me about collaborating. I wanted to develop client relationships and had fully intended to head out and sell my proposition in person, as part of my business efforts. That never happened.
I find that I enjoy the writing process more than meeting face-to-face and selling my ideas. So I am going to shift my focus a bit. This site is going to become less about my thoughts and recommendations, and more far ranging; finding, reposting, and referencing ideas that business owners can use successfully to promote their products and their business brand.
Storytelling will still be a part of the mix, but why preclude other effect ways to reach out to the customers? Hopefully this will create a bigger picture with many options to bond with the people wanting to buy and only needing clarity to do so.
I hope this will increase both your interest and my own. There’s a lot to research and learn.
This was something that I wrote in January 2013. I came upon it today and enjoyed re-reading it. I thought that it made sense to share it here. It wasn’t meant for publication when it was written.
I am hoping to capture a feeling. I am reading what I wrote about storytelling yesterday. The idea of creating a sense of what the product or brand creator wants to impart to the customer base is a good one. It is what I think is valuable about storytelling, writing, or using media to shape emotions that are related to the product or entity.
The feeling that I want to capture though is the feeling that I want to feel while creating this written content – the story. I would like to become immersed in the thoughts and emotions of a great experience. It can be as simple as the taste of wonderful coffee for Starbuck’s. Or perhaps a great experience driving a Fiat 500 or VW Beetle. These are not factually based. They are more about the cognition of feelings – good feelings.
This sort of writing and collaboration is premised upon a positive emotion. It is a contradiction to the terrible and extreme negativity of our lives today. It is a counterbalance to those messages of despair. Writing these positive and uplifting messages would be a happy experience, at least the way that I view things.
How much of this can be applied with good effect to more mundane brands and products? What can be said about less refined products or services than those created by billion dollar organizations? It depends I think.
I really like using PDF files. I like them because they can be developed and reused countless times. They don’t show age or get wrinkled or dirty as sales tools. They can be updated easily and changed to reapply them to multiple product offers.
PDF files can be tacked onto emails with ease. They can be used in websites as sales tools or to make technical information available to the customers. They can contain a mountain of information, or a simple one page presentation.
There is no business that couldn’t find significant value using PDF files to tell their story and to support the business model.
Recently I have been contemplating the use of a few of my proposals and the various images that I captured and used to promote additional sales. I hesitate only because what I was promoting was slightly different from what many small business owners are selling. My business was in commercial contracting, and I specialized in decorative stone, granite, terrazzo, and ceramic tile. Our promotions were directed at large scale developers, owners agents for government agencies, and construction managers on a regional scale (multi-state).
I will try to post a couple of these and see if I can walk through the thinking and also why I think that there are lessons within those efforts that scale to smaller businesses and businesses that are vastly different then this.
It seemed important to create this post as a prequel to what’s to come. I’d like to emphasis that we should be looking at how to take ideas from these proposals, rather than over-think the particulars of that singular business model.
Showing up is 80% of life, according to Woody Allen.
Thought of a little differently, we might say that 80% of success is showing up. It’s only a truism, but the thought does get to an important point needing no additional explanation.
When applied to the development of additional business revenue and customer traffic the thought comes down to a simple question: Are you doing all you can to grow your customer relationships and your footprint in the minds of your potential customer base? Or: Are you even trying? Are you “showing up” for the sales effort?
Small business almost never will have the time or the finances wanted for the task. It gets postponed until sometime in the future.
What I propose is that simple repeated messages about the business, laced with affirmations of trust, sometimes humor, and always with a positive tone, will build a sure foundation for the business. These messages can be on a napkin, a flyer, or a menu board. They can occur on a website or as part of the sales receipt. They can occur in a written sales proposal, or the back of a business card.
It isn’t vital that the story is unique, or witty, or highly polished. What matters most is showing up. I’d like to help with that.