I’ve written recently about how to make your customers feel happy by meeting their needs. Here are some great examples of how different brands have made things appeal to various customer motivations.
Be consistent, so life is easy for me
Morning Star makes 10% of the worlds processed and canned tomato products. I’d never heard of them until I saw a talk by their CEO on how they work, at a conference about progressive businesses.
They sell exciting sounding products like “31% concentrated crushed tomatoes,” which you can buy in a 300-gallon bin, so you might not have heard of them either because they sell to other companies who use their products to make the things you might have heard of or at least eaten.
Morning Star’s CEO Paul Green was speaking at the Meaning Conference because Morning Star has some fascinating ideas about how to let their 2400 staff manage themselves.
Although his talk was fascinating to people like me who are interested in business and management, Paul pointed out that Morning Star’s customers are not that interested in all the self-management stuff at all.
What they want is a consistent product.
Imagine that you have a factory making tens of thousands of microwave dinners. What you want is a just in time delivery of concentrated crushed tomatoes, which is exactly the same as the last batch you got. You don’t have time to be adjusting the cooking time for your lasagne sauce; you just need to pour in the 300-gallon bins and get them cooking.
Now maybe some of Morning Star’s lasagne making customers agree with their way of working. But that isn’t going to make them buy the Morning Star products unless they make consistently tasty tomatoes, which will not cause any problems or upsets on the lasagne production line.
The main customer motivation here is – make my life easy.
If you want to find out more about Morning Star’s co-operative management ideas, here’s where to go…
No thinking, no hunger, no guilt, and I get a present!
Graze Boxes are sold to meet several customer motivations.
First, healthy snacking means that they make customers feel that they’re eating something good for them, but still tasty. At the root of the customer motivation, this gets rid of hunger (a primary motivation) and the guilt that you might feel if you eat crisps or sweets at your desk.
Secondly, Graze boxes are convenient. If their customers only wanted the healthy snacking, they’d get up early in the morning to peel and slice carrots in to take to work. But who has time for this?
Graze sends you a different snack selection in the post every week, so you have to pop them in your bag. And although you might not be hungry at your desk if you had your little box of carrot sticks, you’d get bored of them quickly. Because Graze has put a lot of time and effort into thinking of quirky flavour combinations, you’ll always be surprised by what you get in your box.
And above all, because you’re paying on a subscription basis, you don’t think about the price. You’ve already set up the subscription, so the Graze box delivery is like a little present in the post for you.
It’s a very clever model because if you had to think about paying £1 for a tiny little plastic box of wasabi nuts, you wouldn’t buy them. Graze must have some very enviable gross margins.
Let’s learn from them.
Super fast, no learning curve, don’t make me think about boring things
Pensions are boring for most of us at the best of time. When you’re running a small business, the last thing you want to have to think about or learn about is, how to set up a pension scheme for your employees. That sounds like something that could drag on and seriously distract you from all the other much more exciting things on your to-do list, right?
But the UK government made it obligatory for small businesses to set up pension schemes for their employees, probably because so few of us had done that before. They brought in new laws requiring “auto-enrolment.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t automatic at all; you had to set up the scheme for your employees.
The genius people at Secure Pensions realised that there was an opportunity here. They offer to set this up for you, free of charge, in minutes. Now, of course, it won’t be free of charge, because Secure Pensions will make some fat fees out of all the money your company and your employees will put into the pension scheme over the next 30 years, but it won’t cost anything now.
Their selling points are “fast, secure and free”.
I want to show the kind of person I am
Check out the Hippy Clothing Co to see why I love their branding so much. I would definitely not be wearing one of their multicoloured patchwork cotton grandad shirts, but I know people who would.
They have identified a niche, people who want to show their values all over their shirt sleeves, with fair trade, brightly coloured hippy clothes. Their website looks as if someone knitted it themselves. It might not be to my taste, but it’s a great idea, and their customers will be very chilled out with their products.
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My work is all about helping people with small businesses to build and develop bigger, stronger companies. It’s all about helping people to make more money, and have more fun.
Photo credits to Margarida Csilva, Sonja Langford on Unsplash