I asked a client once to describe one of his customers. His response? “150K a year.” My response? “You just described a number, not a person.” The gentleman was a seasoned business owner. A CEO of an international apparel brand and he’d forgotten that his customers are human. It’s an easy mistake to make when you’re focused on the bottom line, but it’s a costly one when consumers simply have other options and will flock to support brands and orgs where they feel seen and heard.
Coming from a place of service isn’t a revolutionary idea. Just think of your favorite nonprofit or cause. What is relatively new is how brands traditionally outside of the social impact world are applying service as a marketing strategy and I’m excited. I’m excited because like you, I’m bombarded by brands selling to me the old way. I want it to stop.
“Instead of labeling your audience as customers who need to do something, think about how you can actually serve them so that they can accomplish their goals.”
Running social marketing campaigns has taught me that coming from a place of service is immediately a more fulfilling and richer story to tell. There’s greater depth for meeting customers (followers, supporters, etc. ) where they’re at when you’re putting their journey and goals ahead of your own. I started applying this strategy during branding sessions and then expanded it to message mapping and now it’s the filter I apply to marketing and communications strategies for my clients spanning the tech sector to mental health.
I dug up this podcast from my archives where I dive in a little deeper into how to start thinking from a service perspective. Give it a listen and consider asking how your brand or org can come from a place of service in its marketing and communications efforts going forward. If anything, it will spark a much more fulfilling conversation.
Do you use a similar strategy? Do you agree? Disagree?