Customers want more than your stuff. In the case of The Ramones, they want more than a song, or even a concert. I had looked at some YouTube footage of their live performances while writing the last section and even though I think they were a great product and even enjoy some of their music, let’s say the concerts didn’t age well.
But for the people who were there, dude it was awesome!
That’s because the human being has a mind that adds content to experience. You see it wasn’t just a collection of songs, or a concert or a date in history.
It was a world unto itself. In the human memory it becomes a virtual reality. And for the person who was at one of those shows, it is something they can visit whenever they like.
And when they conjure up that memory, of the show in Oswego in 1979, they are going to a literal place in their mind.
They are traveling to another world, maybe while they are at work looking at a calendar with a countdown to retirement number on it.
Don’t believe me? Think about the experience of reading a novel. For a real trippy trip, read A Princess of Mars, where the hero, who doesn’t exist, enters a hypnotic trance and travels to Barsoom to engage in adventure.
In that case the reader is entertaining a double-world fantasy, the first one of reading a book, and the second, of believing the hero in that book himself traveled to another world.
For marketers and business owners understand that you are creating a world for the customer to experience.
I went to CVS this morning to get some cough drops. That world is one of convenience that serves my needs. It always exists for me whether I go there or not. In conversation with family members or myself, if we discuss something we need it’s, “I’ll go to CVS.”
In the case of CVS it doesn’t need to do much but be open and have the stuff I need in stock. It has to serve me and not be annoying.
For Julie’s music school, more of a luxury purchase, and family-oriented at that, it is decorated with schoolhouse accents and chalkboards and lots of fun music-analia.
When the customer enters it, it is a world unto itself. Work problems aren’t there, the laundry isn’t there, the annoying next door neighbor isn’t there.
What is there are the child, the teacher and the parents, working together to impart the gift of music to the student.
It is a special world, and Julie has appointed it so that it looks and feels consistent with the world the customer expects.
When the customer leaves the concert, CVS or the music school, the best case scenario is that they are leaving feeling they are part of that world. That it served them and they will want to return.
This is because there are multiple worlds competing for our customer’s loyalty. Each of us can only inhabit so many, especially when it comes to time and dollars.
Your customer inhabits many worlds. Some they want to be part of, some they are compelled to be part of. If you are selling something that is not required by law or for survival, that means you are a luxury.
They have a choice what worlds they want to travel to. And like all good travelers they will read the brochure. And everything about your business is part of that brochure. Unless you are selling hootchie-cootchie in NYC, I don’t think people actually print many brochures anymore.
But who you are, how you market, what you sell and how you deliver are all part of the mechanism by which the customer decides to become part of your world or not.
The think you sell is only part of that world. They do want to know the backstory, they want to enjoy their experience, they want a story to bring back to tell their friends about and they want to be able to look forward to visiting you again.
This enhanced, and deceptive trick of the human mind explains the disappointment people experience when they finally visit a destination in the real world or meet someone they admire.
The reality can not match the fantasy – so what you want to do is figure out the fantasy, the virtual world they want to visit and create that for them.
That way they can’t be disappointed!