Marketing Lessons From Our Family Dog

…simple reminders that can go a long way in building trust in any economic climate.

Sometimes it seems that Toby, our border collie, may just be the smartest one in our family….
There’s always something to learn from her ever-alert disposition.

1.  Anyone arriving in a big truck is automatically suspicious – Toby responds with deep distrust.   A big truck does not suggest value or safety for her people (even if they are delivering a package for us).

    Big and flashy may not be attractive – often not the best way to open minds…

2.  Many a truck driver tries offering Toby a treat.  But it’s the wrong move – no one who knows her would do that – she doesn’t care about food –  she’ll bark and even growl.

    People may not care about what you think they should prioritize. Value is determined though the eyes of the beholder-not yours….

3.  Engaging Toby by name in a friendly and confident voice, with something she cares about, like “Toby, where’s your Frisbee”, and she’ll befriend you and bring you a toy to throw.

    Speaking with personalization, in the right voice and offering what people really value, makes you a friend– gives them permission to engage…

4.  If Toby brings you a toy to toss, be prepared, she will keep coming back for more.  Sometimes something simple, like helpful information, is all customers want – be sure you find out.

    When you get it right, they will return again and again. It’s that simple…

5.  Approaching the back door, and ringing the bell, lets her know that you are not a close friend –  and her back goes up.  However, entering the mud room demonstrates that you know us.

    Personal cues are powerful ways of showing that you understand and can be trusted…Like Toby, customers pick up more than you might think…

6.  Welcoming Toby – being nice and taking the time to pet her- earns a wagging tail and an opening to enjoy your company.

    A strong or authoritarian approach is often unappealing…but initiating a give- and- take goes a long way…

7.  Simple tasks; doing the same thing over and over lets Toby know that she can count on you.  Routines reassure; she knows that you’ll be there for her.

      Repetition helps build trust…

8.  Toby knows her territory and monitors it closely; she does not wander or get confused; we know she’ll be waiting for us when we come home.

    Focus on your brand promise so that people know what to count on you for…this is a sure way not to dilute your position in the marketplace…

Is it possible that Customers could find so much value and enjoyment that they might be committed enough to wait?

Nobody knows more about loyalty than a dog.  Perhaps we have even more to learn from Toby…

 

2 thoughts on “Marketing Lessons From Our Family Dog

  1. Hi Ellen,

    It’s delightful to think about learning from Toby – would you say she’s changed your thinking in any way?

    I’ve noticed that your notion of “initiating give and take” has been an emerging trend (especially) over the past few years, and it’s the hardest thing for more traditional marketers to yield to…

    I love how you worked the notion of staying true to brand in, as the two points are often seen at odds with each other. Looking forward to more sage advice… Cheers!

    • Janet,

      Thank you for your comments.

      Everyday, Toby reminds me about being genuine and how naturally smart and perceptive each of us can be…

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