BY OGABA AGBESE
What is your magic sauce? What is that “thing” that will make your customers curious about you? What keeps people intrigued about your company? These are amongst the many questions people ask themselves but never quite possibly come up with an answer. There’s this saying in Silicon Valley “build it and they will come.” but what will bring them to it?
P. T Barnum, the most prominent showman ever in America’s history came up with an intriguing solution to get people to his museum. While his museum was visited at the capacity he wished, he met a homeless man dressed him up, gave him 3 bricks and asked him to lay those bricks on the road changing their position as he moved along. This man had to have the sincerest look of focus on his face. He had to be lost in concentration. He was to lay these bricks from a certain point on the road and into the museum and starting over.
People noticed this strange man on the street and word about him spread. Soon a crowd big enough to obstruct traffic was soon following this man curious about whatever hypothesis he was trying to refute or prove. This man led the crowd with only three bricks into the museum and out but something magical happened once they were in the museum, they didn’t care much for the man anymore but decided to explore the treasures of the museum. Barnum had figured out his pull. Barnum had figured a way to use word of mouth to his advantage all the while making his original goal of bringing people into the museum invisible.
What is your pull? We take Apple and Google for example. Apple’s pull are design and ease of use. They craft their devices in ways you can’t imagine possible before them and lure you into their ecosystem where you discover their products are easier to use than the competition. This makes you want to see more of what Apple has to offer. In Google’s case, they give you speed and a clean interface. We dumped Yahoo and other search engines because of the speed. You got a Gmail account because it was faster than the competition, then you used Google Docs, and transitioned to the Android OS. Coca Cola’s pull is universal availability. Where ever you are, you are sure to find a bottle or can of Coke. Another offering from Coca Cola sounds like a good idea when you know you can find it anywhere. Your pull doesn’t even have to be a product alone.
People appreciate fantastic customer service. That alone can make people establish trust with your brand knowing they’ll always be taken care of. It is amazing when you figure out your “pull” and capitalize on it. Your customers will be willing to stand by you even in tough times or ride higher with you with their wallets. Your “pull” is your word of mouth generator. Figure it out, and watch your company smile in the hearts of your customers. Barnum got his customers with three bricks, I think you can do a lot more.
Ogaba Agbese is an architect in training, a poet. Founder and CEO of TreeJump, a nostalgia engine currently in the works.