Art changes the world as much as it changes the artist. It goes beyond the painting, sculpture, or poetry that are produced and connects us to our emotions. Then it brings us to a resonant frequency.
The work we do every day is no different. The products we make, reports we file, and meetings we hold are merely a different set of tools than watercolor, chisel, or words. Even though money is exchanged for the products we buy and the labor we supply; there is much more to the scene when we consider what is really at play – our emotions.
A generation ago, most of us took great pride in working for our employers, and trusted our favorite brands to deliver as advertised. For the most part, companies responded in kind to complete the connection.
Today however, that connection is often broken. Far too many corporations are focusing their efforts towards winning on Wall Street, or in ‘pleasing’ the masses. This leads down a path that doesn’t offend anyone like the lifeless images that are featured inside the picture frames. Some companies have distilled out all the personality of their art and simply offer a variety of meaningless wall-hangings, betting they will achieve sales based on their position in market rankings or other statistical likelihood. Meanwhile, those who not only retain, but figure out how to maximize their human element will continue to gain loyal fans.
A business is much more than just the sum of its transactions. With every purchase, customers tell us how much they trust, value, and appreciate us. In the never-ending quest for lower prices, we are encouraging people to trust us less and less.
For me, the point of business is to make stories that connect with people. How often do you connect with customers?
Rather than reading through slides of PowerPoint; go low-tech – pull up a chair, sit eye-to-eye and tell a true story about how your product changed someone’s life.
Don’t have such a story? There’s no need to re-design the product yet. Talk to customers about why they bought it, and be sure to listen beyond what they say. Most purchases are made not to merely fill a physical need, rather they are made to fill an emotional need and outwardly communicate to others. The clothes we wear, music we play, method of transportation, etc. make up the complex bits that result in our first impressions.
What does your business/work say about you?
How much to customers value/appreciate/love your art?