It’s true. We don’t want to believe it. We do everything possible to trick our minds into thinking that it isn’t reality but in fact, at the end of the day, the sad truth is that people just don’t care about your business. There. I said it and you know what? It doesn’t bother me at all to tell you this. They. Don’t. Care.
Unless someone is currently engaged in the sales cycle of your business, product or service, you are not the first thing they think about when they wake in the morning and the last thing they think of when they go to bed. It just doesn’t happen.
So, how do you get people to think about your business when they aren’t currently looking for your product or service? Here’s a hint…advertising isn’t the answer. There’s no way general advertising will reach through the daily cognitive congestion that an average individual must sort through. Example: Unless I’m actively looking for a specific car that’s on your car lot, I could give a rats banana about your cars, your awesome financing deals, how many miles per gallon your cars get, how amazing your sales staff is, what type of service certifications you have and how comfy and nice your waiting rooms are, or that you’re #1 at anything. I just don’t care. I’ve got more important things to think about.
Here’s what people do care about and here’s what makes people think about your business on a daily basis: It’s about the things you do that have absolutely nothing to do with selling a product or service. Toms could just sell shoes. No biggie right? Millions of people buy shoes. It happens every day. However, it’s the story behind Toms shoes and the fact that for every pair of shoes they sell, they give another pair away in a third-world country. That’s something to think about. It’s an act of global good. It’s charity. It’s giving back. It’s also making a difference. By gosh, there’s a story there and you know what? Humans like stories. It’s one of the oldest forms of communication.
Sure, Patagonia could pocket 100% of their profits each year, pay out massive bonuses and keep on trucking without blinking an eye. They could also fill their catalogs and website with nothing but product and sell sell sell. But it’s the fact that they give 1% of their profits back to causes that work to preserve the environment ($46 million to date) and dedicate catalog and website space to telling stories (there’s that word again) of preservation efforts, environmental responsibility and stewardship that lifts them beyond being just another outdoor gear manufacturer. They’ve transcended the typical and have become a community of doers, thinkers, activists, content providers and a manufacturer of consumable goods.
What both Toms and Patagonia have in common is that they spend just as much time, effort and money doing things that are not related to selling their product or service as they do marketing their actual products and services. They invest these additional resources into creating stories, experiences and changing lives for the better. This is called “storydoing” and the brands that understand this concept are the brands that end up grabbing more consumer cognitive space on a daily basis.
There’s no magic bullet here and you either get it or you don’t. This type of dedication to putting time, energy and financial resources into doing things that aren’t directly related to selling products is not for the weak. It takes years of commitment to gain traction but ultimately, this is your story. It’s gotta go beyond the sales pitch to get people involved, interested and passionate about your brand.
Now get out there and do something so radical and different that it makes people take notice and actually care about your business. Good luck.