The fuel that feeds your company’s “engine” is Customer Insight. The more we understand our customers, the more value we can provide and the less effort we waste. How well do you know your customers?
We find that most companies we work with actually have customer data, not customer insight. They know facts about their customers: what they buy, when they buy it, maybe even where they live or what they do for work. But they don’t know why. Why did they pick you instead of your competitors? Which of your features was the most important (and which didn’t they care about)?
Let’s play a game to illustrate what I mean. I’m going to describe a famous person using their public facts, and we’ll see if you can guess who I’m thinking of:
He is a white male
He is a British citizen who lives in the United Kingdom
He lives in an actual castle!
His age is between 65–75, as of the time of this book’s publication
He has two famous grown children
Who do you think it is?
I’ve played this game in many, many live presentations, and every time, people guess King Charles. Each of these facts is true about him, so it’s a good guess. Unfortunately, I was thinking of Ozzy Osbourne, formerly the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, who at the peak of his fame adopted the nickname “The Prince of Darkness.” These two men look alike only if you look at the data provided. But if you dig deeper than their demographics, you realize how different they really are. If you are designing an experience that would make one of these men a raving fan, you would almost certainly lose the other one.
From clothes to cars, I can’t think of a single product or service that they would both truly love. Maybe a castle cleaner could sell to them both? But even then, to win either of them as a raving fan, you’d probably need to present a totally different theme and use very different language when you provide the service. Charles would probably love something called Edward Witherington III’s Castle Cleaning Consultants (in business since 1645), and Ozzy would probably love a company calling itself the Vampire Cleaning Crew!
Do you know the difference between your Charlies and your Ozzys, or are you treating them all the same?