When we last left Marc, our perfectly integrated consumer who is a fan of the companies he loves, he was heading off to work. A few hours have passed, and lunch is mercifully approaching. Marc’s morning was stressful. His workday has been, well, work. New, last-minute projects have fallen in his lap, and a few difficult personalities have created stress. Marc’s blissfully planned morning routine is far behind him. He looks forward to lunchtime because it’s actually open — a nice chunk of time for himself. Today, he’s going to forego his usual cafeteria lunch and go for a run. He laces up his favorite running shoes, puts on the same brand running shorts, and the same brand shirt. He looks like a moving billboard for running equipment, but he is decked out from head to toe in the same brand because he is a fan of their products. Hoping to salvage his day, he looks forward to the mental reset of getting out of the office and getting his sweat on.
Out For a Run
Marc’s been running for the past three months and using Nike+ and Spotify to track and improve his performance, with a constant stream of new music. As a perfectly integrated consumer who doesn’t always have time to refresh his music collection, Marc loves how he can gather data about his runs and connect with his friends’ new band recommendations. He is not just a fan of the artists playing music coming out of his headphones, but a fan of the brands he uses. From the shoes he wears, to the headphones, to his running app – all of these things help to better his running performance based on personal preference and individualized data. Because of that and his loyalty to these products, Marc is not just a customer anymore. He is committed to his workouts and the products he uses that help him enjoy his exercises. Up until today’s spontaneous run though, Marc’s workouts were pretty regimented. He has been following a distance running workout program and sought out playlists that would get him on course to a 180BPM (beats per minute) run. (He read an article in Gizmodo last year about how this is apparently the ideal rhythm for running.)
Marc’s been posting good times, and as intended, he was running longer distances each week. But today, Marc chooses to put his workout program on pause. He needs a change of pace, so he chooses a shared playlist from a college friend. It’s a collection of songs inspired by a spring break road trip the two guys had taken together. Marc loves it. It turns out the playlist is the perfect soundtrack for Marc’s lunchtime run. It gives Marc’s brain a nice little nostalgic vacation, away from his inbox, and impending deadlines. In fact, it gives Marc exactly what he wanted originally from running – a way to relax. It feels good. Gearing up to finish lunch and get cranking on his afternoon, Marc checks in on his daily stats and types into his workout notes the comment, “Not my best time, but just what I needed.” With the level of engagement and personalization Marc now has with his products – he is not just a customer, but a loyal fan.
A Perfect Lunch
Marc’s lunch gives us a nice snapshot of how easily we get addicted to tracking data and following templates – oftentimes missing the big picture. A collection of data is fairly meaningless unless it’s paired with the real objective. When we pursue KPIs that don’t line up with our goals, we get caught up in a race that we often have no heart in winning. Integration tools are intended to make our lives function better. If they don’t, we have no attachment to them and the brand becomes almost meaningless to us, new technology and tools need to be focused on turning customers into fans. Marc became a fan of his tools because they were tailored to him personally. Now he is able to finish his run, and go on with the rest of his day feeling better than ever.
For a deeper dive on how “Turning Customers Into Fans” can work in business, check out this whitepaper.