Johnny Ive on design… too good…
“Isn’t that curious? Because if you tasted some food that you didn’t think tasted right, you would assume that the food was wrong. But for some reason, it’s part of the human condition that if we struggle to use something, we assume that the problem resides with us.”
Back in the US for a few days and am already reminded of just how good service and wireless internet is. The Inn at Spanish Bay was fantastic. Remarkable service. Super high-speed Internet.
Ok, neither the food or coffee quality of the Sky City Grand but slays them on everything else. And the Sky City Grand is about as good as it gets in NZ – the Copithorne Bay of Islands was terrible on nearly every count, which for a premier NZ destination isn’t OK. Lousy food, average service, tired room, and terrible Internet.
Although I was reminded that the 17 Mile Drive spread has the same weather pattern as Melbourne. A whole lot of seasons in one day. You start with wet and mist, progress to a sunny morning and afternoon, sudden light rain, then a cool evening.
All first world problems though.
Spiro nails it. Refs run the game to ruin through outrageous, inconsistent and game deciding rulings. Rugby is less about players and more about refs. In fact, teams with possession are better off hanging around for penalty against equal or stronger sides. The game is in a terrible place.
I just found the decision of Jaco Peyper to yellow card two All Blacks just bout as bewildering as his scrum rulings. The two yellow card sendings off for ‘cynical’ play at the ruck have set a poor precedent. If players are going to be sent off for ‘cynical’ play, then most of the forwards will be in the sin bin. Certainly Michael Hooper and Richie McCaw would never finish a match.
The first penalty of the Test, for instance, when Scott Fardy deliberately fell across the All Blacks ruck and stopped a strong attack was as ‘cynical’ as that of the Wyatt Crockett and Beauden Barrett. Why wasn’t he given a yellow card?
The yellow card was introduced for repeated professional or cynical fouls in the scoring zone. Several infringements were needed before the yellow card sanction was to be used. Under Peyper the yellow card seems to have morphed into a first resort punishment for play deemed illegal anywhere on the field.
There are too many yellow cards issues, anyway. By bringing yellow cards into general play, Peyper threatened to destroy the integrity of the Test. It was noticeable that the All Blacks coaches were so nervous about his propensity to hand out yellow cards that that took Crockett off the field.
For decades we’ve gone on and on about “church and state”. We buy media because of the performance of the media, not the function the medium actually serves. Its a marriage of convenience. And for the most part that makes sense.
Where most marketers are going wrong is applying that absolutely. Done this way we ignore the very function and purpose of media — and the opportunity to create amazing new shows, programs and publications.
Decades ago a hipster couple came to see me in San Francisco to chat about a cool new publication they were launching. Kind of The Economist meets Vanity Fair meets Popular Mechanics for the tech world. They had me sold on the design alone. A few of us got behind them and away it went. That publication is Wired.
What about titles like Dumbo Feather. Its small in circulation but its a very high value circulation. High in production values and storytelling. Its a publication of merit. And its worth supporting for the story it tells and the function it serves. (And they are ten years young with the latest edition).
Or The Collective. I remember Lisa out hunting for her first advertisers – and I chose to support it early because of its purpose and potential impact on an important segment of the market. Now its arguably the most important publication for Women entrepreneurs and business leaders in Australia. It’s not an easy one to fit into a big media spend – its not likely to pop-up on the radar of the big media agency – and they aren’t likely to succumb to the brutal buying terms of the big buyer, the economics don’t support it.
But much like Dumbo Feather, its worthy of support on the merit of its intent. Doubly important, its an opportunity to use great content, distribute to your own audiences, and connect through events.
All of these publications point to the need for buyers, marketers and advertisers to support publications not just based on reach, but also purpose and potential. It could be with as little as two percent of your total budget. But putting that two percent to work matters.
Simply put, supporting media is more than about buying ads. Its about creating conversations, ensuring our societies stories get told well, and creating the inspirational publications of the future.
Marketers need to open their buying aperture.
Companies do it all the time – they put their brand in the hands of third parties who care less about your brand and only about transactions at any cost.
This worked fine in a world where customer experience was masked by word of mouth or buried in the back of news papers. In this new world, transparency exposes brand’s truths. As they say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. The difference now is that is is the customers administering the sunlight.
Telstra’s a brand I’ve tried to like. Some great marketing, a strong agency, good people — all of that persuaded me to give them a go. Terrible experiences in mobile and broadband left me disappointed. The company that felt it necessary to call me constantly so see if I was happy, hasn’t bothered to call once since I switched to Vodafone.
And today we’ve been harassed no less than six times from a company called Telechoice. Now when we ask them who there company is, they just hang-up. But call they do. They represent Telstra apparently.
I’ve never bought into the argument that the customer is in more control than ever – all I can do is move my business elsewhere and I’ve always been able to do that. But what we do have is the ability to expose brands for what they are at an unprecedented scale. Take the promise of Spark – a rebranded Telecom NZ – which despite a fresh new look thinks its ok to have people knocking on your door at 6pm at night. Not fresh and friendly at all. Or Telstra’s constant interruptions of our family Saturday morning.
Brand owners need to take charge of customer experience – starting with the sales process. And they need to get ruthless about realising the expectations of their leadership for nothing other than stellar customer service.
Those that don’t should expect nothing other than total transparency in the market and a good dose of sunlight.