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I Know You! People do business with people

Dog focused on ball

The other day, I grabbed the ringing phone, anticipating that it was a call back from someone for whom I had left a voicemail about a project. Imagine my disappointment, nay, annoyance, to discover Iím talking to someone from a magical land far, far away trying to sell me something for which I have no use.

The caller, letís call him Bob, assures me, as he drivels on over my protests, that I will be amazed at the money I will save using his services. He has no idea, nor does he apparently care, that I need his services like a fish needs a bicycle. I can feel myself hurtling past the barricade marking the end of polite refusal and catapulting headlong into the things-I-should-not-say-in-polite-conversation zone. Bob, you made me go there.

So why did I get the big hate on for Bob? Itís not just because he interrupted my workflow. Itís because Bob (and all the Bobs and Bettys out there) are talking at me, through me and over me, but at no point, does he or she make any effort to speak with me. Bob is robotic. Bob doesnít care. Bob doesnít understand. Bob hasnít engaged on a human-to-human basis. Iím just not feeling the love, Bob.

As humans, we relate to other people who seem to understand us. We want to feel we are on the same page, speaking the same language, simpatico. That gets our attention. I saw a great example of this in an esurance ad on TV. The customer, Hank, is someone who wants to find the most cost effective way to save money on insurance, but isnít exactly tech savvy. Heís a typical dad: His teenager berates him over a text message for being out of touch. Think how many of esuranceís target audience hear that message! LOL.

This very human, relatable approach, makes me think that this insurance company understands my life and situation. I would normally just tune out an insurance ad, but this one had me riveted and laughing.

So when you build your brand messaging, carefully craft and nurture the personality of your brand. No one gets a warm and fuzzy from corporate speak. We want to think, ďHey, I know you!Ē and more importantly, that you really know me.

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Blaze that Trail: Mapping a successful customer experience

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