Have you seen the ad with Zoey and Chris?
Illana has become absolutely obsessed with it — mostly because it makes her feel icky.
It’s an ad for high speed internet (she thinks…), created by one of the giant telecom companies (she can’t remember which) and it features a couple of office workers moaning about their gorgeous co-workers, Zoey and Chris, whose beauty somehow turns our first, perfectly attractive couple, into sad, bitter comparisonitis victims.
So what does that have to do with telecoms? Or high speed internet? Illana is still trying to figure it out and in the meantime this ad, which is repeated constantly on her streaming service, has made her hate the company just a little bit!
A big company that’s punching down.
Where is this telecom giant going wrong? Well, firstly, Illana can’t really figure out what they’re actually trying to say — or sell! — which is a pretty huge problem in marketing. But worse than that, the message they’re giving out is that their intended customer is the type of asshole who hates on other people just because they’re good looking.
Instead of elevating their potential customers, they’re turning them into petty, insecure high school kids. And because none of us want to think of ourselves as petty assholes, we’re just not going to buy in to this company, no matter how fast their internet speed might be!
They’ve given us a glimpse into their company culture — and it’s gross.
Your company culture is what drives your business and supports your ethics. It helps you define the messages you put out into the world, and ultimately it affects how you make people feel, whether that’s the folks that work for you, your customers, or the people watching your ads.
If we compare this with Rachel’s “Good Business” moment, you’ll see what we mean.
Rachel’s been traveling a ton for work recently, so when she checks into a hotel she REALLY doesn’t want any drama. So a lost reservation could have turned into a total nightmare. Except receptionist Kathleen really went above and beyond. Not only did Kathleen find Rachel a room, she upgraded her to a fancy-pants suite, offered a late check-out to tie in with her flight times, and even gave her a driver to take her to the airport. She made Rachel feel like a damn celebrity!
She did it all with a huge smile — no following a script, no, “I’ll check with my manager”; she just did what she needed to do to make her customer feel awesome.
And every single member of staff was just as friendly, just as helpful, and just as prepared to go above and beyond to give the guests an amazing experience.
That, guys, is a great company culture in action.
If only Rachel could remember which hotel it was, in which city, in which state, she’d definitely go back!
But don’t think that chain hotels, telecoms giants, and big brick and mortar businesses are the only ones who need to worry about their company culture — it’s just as important for small businesses. And as a small business owner you have a huuuuuge advantage because YOU get to design and create your own culture. Cool, huh?
Creating a company culture your customers will love.
The first step is to define clear goals for what you want the culture to accomplish — what are the ethics driving your biz, how do you want to make people feel, what do you want folks to say about you behind your back? All of these things will help you create a culture that’s a fit for how you want to do business.
But don’t make it too prescriptive; give yourself and your staff the room to get creative with how they live and work with that culture. Oh, and definitely don’t forget to reward your people for taking actions that align with those goals.
When it comes to concrete ways to start creating a kickass company culture, Chip and Dan Heath sum it up perfectly in The Power of Moments when they advise finding small moments where you (or your staff) can surprise and delight your customers.
It could be something like Rachel’s lovely client Lara who sent her some whiskey just because she knows she loves it. Or even sending your customer an article with a note saying, “I read this and thought of you”. Find ways to show them you’re thinking of them and do what you can to make them feel appreciated. If you can find a way to help them, then do it!
Instead of being memorable in an icky “Chris and Zoey” kind of way, you’ll be memorable for all the right reasons.