Inside Wildwood Guitars
(Alas I didn’t actually rock out with Joe B and Greg Koch)
Photo borrowed from Wildwood Guitars
If you want to experience outstanding customer service in action, I suggest you visit Wildwood Guitars in Louisville, CO.
I took a detour yesterday to visit the famous guitar emporium on a trip to Aspen and was greeted by Senior Sales Associate Lance Bowzer. Even after announcing myself as a guitar tourist–i.e. I was not going to be exchanging money for a Gibson that day–Lance took the time to tell me about the town (which is really lovely), the store and some of the custom runs they’ve done with Gibson. While we talked and I fooled around with a Gibson 58 reissue, the smell of the nitrocellulose lacquer completed the Wildwood brand experience.
Brand = Experience
When we have a positive experience with the brand–the website, the products, the sales process and, most importantly, the people–we encode that experience emotionally and can recall that information far more easily than rational things like facts and figures. I know Lance told me how many guitars they have in the warehouse, but I don’t recall other than it was a lot. What I do remember is the smell of that R8 as we talked about the story of Gibson CustomBucker pickups and the nice conversation with Lance.
Of course the opposite can happen too. Quick–what do you think about your cable company? Thought so.
Want to sell more product and have more fans? Emulate Wildwood Guitars and Lance Bowzer. I know I’ll be back and I won’t be leaving without something with Gibson or Fender on the headstock. Highly recommended.
Louisville, CO 80027
Posted in Branding, Customer Care, Guitar, Marketing, Travel
Tagged branding, Colorado, Customer Service, experience, guitar, travel, wildwood guitars
Emailed data cards for PMP and automated guaranteed “lists”
More proof that even programmatic media needs to be sold, and is not just bought.
I received an email from Kantar Media that looks just like the ads I used to see in DM News touting new-to-market files. The email contained data cards (see image at left) for eight different lists and brought me back 20 years. What’s old is new again!
I haven’t–yet–received the email promoting old-fashioned sucker lists. Of course when buying digital media, if you don’t see the sucker, pick up the mirror on your desk before you sign that I/O.
There wasn’t anything in today’s news, but today is the 71st anniversary of the beginning of the liberation of Europe. When I wake up, I try to imagine what it must have been like to be a 20 year old soldier who’s just jumped, waded, or crash-landed into France. I never succeed.
Those 180,000 young men from the United States, Canada, and Great Britain accomplished the task that had to be done. Not all of them lived to tell about it. They were true heroes, even if you don’t read much about them today.
We should never forget this day, nor those who did their job. I won’t.
Today is D-Day.
If you fly regular routes, you’ll notice the same tail numbers around you. The same planes tend to fly the same routes, with changes mostly due to weather or maintenance.
What does it usually mean when a particular tail number shows up next to the plane you’re on? Nothing.
What does it usually mean when a particular visitor or cookie shows up on your website? Nothing.
So why are you obsessing about tracking every single click and sometimes considering using things like LFO cookies to follow visitors? The vast majority of the traffic to and from your website is nothing more than a giant tail number database, providing you with almost no insight about your customers.
The key is not tracking more tail numbers. It’s detecting two things: when a change occurs and when that change is significant.
What’s the best way to detect the changes? Well, you could sift through millions of rows of data. Or you could ask some real customers.
Budget: Three Days to Re-key Data?
I just updated my Budget account profile, which only took a few moments. Now, according to this email, it’s going to take Budget up to another three days to update my profile with them. I have no idea what the further update entails.
I guess Budget is sending my update to somebody else to re-key into some other system. I wonder what offshore low-bid vendor is getting my data.
The funny thing is they took the time to automate the email to tell me about their manual process, but couldn’t be bothered to actually automate the process!
I can imagine the boiler room operation they’ve cobbled together with tin cans and string to manage the verification process. And we wonder why over a billion records were stolen last year? Unnecessary data transfer and unneeded data viewing is a big part of it.
Think your advertising copy is lousy? It could be worse. You could work for Mondelez.
I was standing in line at Walmart–hoping that nobody I knew would notice me there–when I looked up and saw this POP display right over the checkout line. I did a double take when I saw the line. Can you see it?
Huh? How is unwrapped gum “super useful?” I guess now you can use Trident gum to fix plumbing leaks or repair broken zippers. Silly me, I thought chewing gum’s main purpose was to help self-identify as an uncouth American tourist when traveling through Europe.
When I saw this misuse of valuable and expensive advertising space, I figured that the client never read this, the senior account executive never saw it or an even worse alternative happened–they all read this and thought it made sense.
We used to have copywriters on staff who were well-versed in the client’s products and integral to the advertising process. Now, my copywriter friends tell me that writing is relegated to the intern or palmed off on the low-cost bidder from an online crowdsourcing site. Paying peanuts and getting monkeys, as the old saying goes.
Maybe that’s what Modelez’s Project Sprout got them. Big savings, lots of monkeys and lousy copy.
Ever wonder how the McKinsey or Bain consultants your company hired can get the CEO to parrot their talking points in front of the all-hands meeting?
The answer, which Bob Hoffman brought to my attention today, is confirmation bias.
The initial fact-gathering and interview process over the first couple of weeks (billable, of course) of the engagement is to figure out not only what the executives believe about the business, but also what they believe the solution is.
When the deck comes back, the CEO thinks “Hmm, this looks a lot like my intuition, only with really clever charts that my own Powerpoint monkeys can’t create themselves. They must be right. On to phase two!”
Confirmation bias at work. We accept the things that match our belief system and filter out those that do not.
Great work if you can get it. Even better is that once the implementation of the plan is screwed up, you might be able to bill the next management team to confirm their biases.
How do we avoid confirmation bias? Make sure you don’t filter out ideas that don’t align with your belief. Hire a Devil’s Advocate (somebody like Chunka Mui or me) and task them with providing cogent arguments that challenge your beliefs.