It was international music and cultural icon Robert Nesta Marley’s deep belief that his music could make a positive impact in the world. “All people life important. My life is only important if me can help plenty of people. My life is for people.” Having recently stumbled upon a rough video of Marley uttering these words, I couldn’t help but think . . .
If business is the activity of buying, selling, making, and/or providing services in exchange for money, then we shouldn’t overlook that business success revolves around directly addressing human needs and forging enhanced customer experiences, satisfaction, retention, a strong referral business, and more. Sure, a solid business plan, healthy P&L, and the hard work that brought you here really matters, but let’s pay particular attention to who you do it with and for – your “tribe” of colleagues, employees, fans, customers, and even future customers.
And if that isn’t enough, we also have to consider the sobering thought surrounding the ever-increasing stake customer voices play in product development concerns, marketing communications, and also experiential executions. Manufacturers can no longer afford to develop product(s) in an absolute vacuum. What was once a fairly one-way conversation has swung in favor of the greater mass. Consider the gravity of: Crowd-Sourcing, Online Reviews, User-Generated Content, and even Co-Creation – remember New Coke?
So now for the rub. Are you proactively and respectfully trying to engage your tribe in a way that consistently fosters real emotional connections? Or are you missing opportunities to be outgoing, connected and engaged transparently? As you strive to keep your business on a positive trajectory and at the forefront, it’s important to keep in mind the importance of listening to the tribe and facing these opportunities head-on. Even if initial attempts feel awkward, keep at it – your customers and business partners will thank you!
Perhaps further comfort and additional inspiration can be drawn from Bob Marley’s following statement, “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” Keep up the good work! 343