Beyond the Brand: Why Engaging the Right Customers is Essential to Winning in Business Hardcover – October 1, 2004
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Windsor details a research methodology, "anthro-journalism" designed to elicit stories from customers about where they find value in your products. Such research can be used to fuel innovation as well as sales. What is important here is to find common ground with your customers on their own turf. The value of this approach is that often, your customers are more savvy about your products than your marketing staff. Capturing that value from customers, however, is not as easy as sending out a survey.
Storytelling is a powerful and evocative tool for marketers. But like journalists, if marketers want to get the best stories, they'll need to go to the customer. Even a focus group is too artificial an environment and too removed from the lived reality in which your customers use your products. You need to know, not just how your customers behave, but to understand why they behave as they do. To this end, you'll need to get as close to the context in which they use your products as possible.
Beyond the Brand is a fascinating read, with an equally fascinating methodology.
Using anecdotes about some of the best consumer brands out there, like Nike, Oakley and Burton Snowboards, Winsor proclaims that the only way to stand out in today's marketplace is for a company to find inspiration and hone its intuition, by finding key voices and truly listening to those voices tell their stories. If I had to choose one book to help me connect with customers, this would be it. Beyond the Brand will become one of those rare, classic points of reference.