Be Obi-Wan Kenobi, not Luke Skywalker
As a company or a product, our story doesn’t really matter to our customers. The customer does not care who our founders are or why they created the company.
The customer wants to feel like their story is important. Listen to your customer, make them feel like Luke Skywalker.
–Jimmy Fritz the CEO of KennedyBlue.com
At the Sioux Falls Innovation Expo
MailChimp has a very robust writing guide focused on voice and tone in multiple situations. I particularly like how they handle the customer’s emotion in negative situations:
User: What went wrong? I really need to get this campaign out.
User’s Feelings: Confusion, Stress, Anger
-Offer a solution or next step.
-Be straightforward. Explain what is going on right away.
-Be calm. Don’t use exclamation points or alarming words like “alert” or “immediately.”
-Be serious. Don’t joke around with people who are frustrated.
MailChimp: We’re experiencing a problem at one of our data centers. Our engineers are on the case, and will have things back to normal shortly.
MailChimp’s full voice and tone guide can be found here.
“A company’s culture and a company’s brand are really just two sides of the same coin. The brand is just a lagging indicator of a company’s culture…your culture is your brand.”
Found at the Pioneer Village in Worthington , MN.
My favorite domain name tool/business name generator is Panabee.com. It is great for finding available domains with related words or unique domain extensions.
I’m a big believer in Al Ries, and it is rare to see good examples of companies focusing in on one name for one product for one company for one consumer pain point.
37 Signals re-branding and restructuring to focus purely on Basecamp was a phenomenal example.
Moving forward, we will be a one product company. That product will be Basecamp. Our entire company will rally around Basecamp. With our whole team – from design to development to customer service to ops – focused on one thing, Basecamp will continue to get better in every direction and on every dimension.
When we meet people, and they ask us what we do, we say we work for 37signals. If they aren’t in the tech world, they’ll squint and say “what’s that?”. When we say “we’re the folks who make Basecamp”, their eyes light up and open wide. “Basecamp! Oh I love Basecamp! My wife uses Basecamp too! Even our church uses Basecamp!” We hear this kind of response over and over. People just love their Basecamp.
So that got us thinking… While 37signals is well known in tech circles, far more people around the world actually know us for Basecamp. And since we’re going to be completely focused on Basecamp moving forward, why don’t we just go all in on “Basecamp”.
So here’s the second big announcement: We’re changing our name. 37signals is now Basecamp. “37signals” goes into the history books. From now on, we are Basecamp. Basecamp the company, Basecamp the product. We’re one and the same.
A great article from Entrepreneur:
Acquisition – The Welcome Email
The first thing you send someone after they make the potentially regrettable decision to give you their email address sets the tone for what they should expect. It’s also more likely to be opened than any emails you send thereafter. A study by Experian put the difference at a factor of 4-5x, and our own internal data review has shown a similar trend.
There are two extremely common mistakes that people make when crafting welcome emails:
- Letting the opportunity go to waste. Writing the welcome email was just a checkmark on someone’s calendar one day, and no one has gone back since to make it better.
- Focusing too heavily on downstream conversions. This new user is barely that. A few minutes ago, they were a “visitor.” This is the time to reaffirm the value they saw in you in the first place, not the time to cash in on it.
Here is a great page. Examples of mission statements, slogans, mottos for all Fortune 500 companies.
Found it as part of a new product development class I am taking from Global NP Solutions.
“Jeff Bezos has a public e-mail address, email@example.com. Not only does he read many customer complaints, he forwards them to the relevant Amazon employees, with a one-character addition: a question mark.
When Amazon employees get a Bezos question mark e-mail, they react as though they’ve discovered a ticking bomb. They’ve typically got a few hours to solve whatever issue the CEO has flagged and prepare a thorough explanation for how it occurred, a response that will be reviewed by a succession of managers before the answer is presented to Bezos himself. Such escalations, as these e-mails are known, are Bezos’s way of ensuring that the customer’s voice is constantly heard inside the company.”
“Bezos takes a red pen to press releases, product descriptions, speeches, and shareholder letters, crossing out anything that doesn’t convey a simple message: You won’t find a cheaper, friendlier place to get everything you need than Amazon.”
“This document was clearly written by the B team. Can someone get me the A team document? I don’t want to waste my time with the B team document.”
Long article, but still pretty great