French Fries and Iphone Covers

Strategy

We think we know what people really want.

Few of us really do.

We’re all enigmas. We’re irrational. We make illogical choices, take actions that contradict our stated plans, and take the most useful things for granted while treasuring (and buying more of) things that shouldn’t matter nearly as much.

I hardly ever wash my car. I eat french fries in it while driving, occasionally dropping one between the seat and the center console, never to be seen again. I got the oil changed, finally, but only after weeks of annoying wrench shaped lights on my dashboard.

You will never see my iphone in public without its protective cover. I have 2. One for normal, every day use. One for running. I won’t use it with dirty hands, or let my 6 year old play with it (bad Dad!), or let too many days go by without cleaning the screen with an appropriately soft and non-scratching chamois. Same goes for my laptop (the not touching it with dirty fingers, not the chamois).

I love my car (it gets me to work and meetings and goes really fast). I merely like my iphone (it lets me make calls while playing Fieldrunners). If my iphone suddenly split into 2 equally shiny and pretty pieces tomorrow, life would go on. If my car blew up in a mushroom cloud of french fries and gum wrappers, I’d be in a serious bind.

Yet I continue to value my phone more than my car, at least in how I take care of them. I’m illogical.

So are you.

So are your customers, leads, prospects, bosses and coworkers.

Logic alone won’t tell us what people will value. What they’ll want. What they’ll respond to. Educated guesses just begin the experiment.

To find out what people really want, watch and listen for clues about what they already treasure, then give them more of that…

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