The term “caring” can become very problematic depending on how it is used.
It is rare to see products that are based on empathy and connected emotion.
A simple but earth shattering statement many start-ups and established businesses are terrified to admit. We often focus on great design and large data-sets without looking at what customers really want, that might turn them into long term brand advocates.
“The right question can unlock great power”
–Cal Fussman, New York’s best seller author and journalist
When trying to answer some of the most complex challenges in our community we are often led down a rabbit hole. We believe that we understand the problem and the solution, despite not taking the time to listen to what the real challenges are.
When great companies are being built there is a lot of focus around their strategy and financial success, with customers sometimes becoming a second thought. Yes, these areas are important however many ideas are developed without looking at what ideas customer’s need.
In our world, we are overwhelmed with information and everyone talking at us to get our attention. We often misinterpret the importance of listening as people in history who normally make the most noise win. If you paid attention to the 2016 US election one of the great things about Hillary Clinton was the fact that she was a great listener. To develop the skill to listen involves the ability to care for the other person. Although, Hillary lost the election, future leaders and brands will not just need to listen but turn empathic listening into solutions for underserved groups of customers.
Photo: Hillary Clinton speaks in Grinnell, Iowa, on November 3, 2015. Credit: Pexels
Through listening carefully to your customers you can start to frame the right questions and right answers to solutions, which will lead to more trust over time. Some of the greatest brands are not asking 'WHAT' questions that lead to narrow anwsers but 'WHY' questions which invite more thoughtful responses from potential customers.
Now people are expecting a lot more from brands. As human experiences change, people want brands that are more socially transparent. This has created opportunities for brands such as Brewgooder, a non-for-profit craft brewery company, who are on a mission to provide cleaner drinking water all over the world. Brewgooder has used the power of caring as part of their DNA and business model to succeed. Although, they are still growing, they have a goal to bring clean drinking water to 1,000,000 people. So far they have provided more than 40,000 people with clean water to date.
While working with numerous brands over time and most recently my work with OpenIDEO London Chapter has taken me on a journey to discover the importance of building solutions that are centred around individual’s needs. At the heart of some of the world’s leading brands from Amazon to Zappos, solutions have been created that deeply connect with their users that make them come back again and again.
Whether you are a product manager, marketer or start-up founder, building products that are human-centric and get at the heart of your customers’ pain should be a number one priority. However, somewhere along the journey from the value proposition to prototyping and launch, many products lose sight of what makes customers truly love their idea.
"If you make other people happy, you will be happy."
- Eric Yuan, CEO and founder of Zoom Video Communications.
The foundation of designing a product customers love are relationships based on value, respect, love, trust and most importantly, care. Organisations such as Amazon have built a culture and environment around caring about their customers.
Through empowering everyone across the organisation to act on insights from the customers, they have developed improved strategies, operational efficiency and empowerment from understanding their consumer in real-time.
Daniel Tuitt has years of experience working with brands to identify challenges that stop growth and the development of new ideas. Daniel's expertise lies in navigating complex environments by making sense of consumer and technology trends. He is currently an Innovation Consultant at Developed Thinking and is also a Digital Consultant at Capco, a global management consultancy with a focus in financial services. Daniel can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.