Technology defines the product and its characteristics. But we forget that what is more relevant for the user is how he or she lives the relation with that product or service. Features and technology are not an end but a mean. What is important is how the consumer feels when he or she is with our product.
A few days ago I went to a public event, and a girl approached me with a light on her face. She asked, “are you...?” That happens to me quite often, in the most unexpected places. It could be when I buy some press, when I go to the post office for a packet, or when I go to the doctor. With a bartender, an employee, a nurse or a doctor. Most of the time, I do not know them. They do not know me either. I have done nothing to deserve that affection. When they recognize me, or they see my name and their face lights up. That is because I remind them of my mother.
She was not influential; she did not write any bestselling book; she did not have a lot of money. She was just a teacher in a small humble school. She did something that I think is so difficult; a lot of people remember her with affection. Not only because she was a good teacher but also, and, that is more important, because she was a nice person.
What makes them happy? It is not me, of course, but perhaps it is not my mother either. What makes them happy is that they remember how they felt when they were with her. She had that strange ability to make people feel good about themselves.
That is a skill that I do not have, but it is a target and a guide for everything I do. I work in marketing and communication. When I start a new project, first I must believe in it; I want it could bring something to the consumer. I ask myself: what can I do to make people feel better about themselves when they use that product or service?. That is what makes the difference and the only thing that remains after a long time.
People do not care about computers, software, cars, books or teachers. But how they felt, and the experiences they had with those products and services.
Do you remember what you learned from a teacher in school? Some things, for sure, but you forgot a lot too. What we do not forget is how we felt when we were with those few teachers that were important for us. The ones thad influenced our growth. Something similar happens with other small and big things. It could be our first car or that ice cream that we taste at a particular moment.
Many see marketing and communication with suspicion. Some people think that they try to manipulate us. It makes us consume things that we do not need, spend money with no apparent sense. In some cases, it may be that way. As it happens in any activity, it depends on how you do it.
Products and services will be useful if they go beyond functionality and technology. It is when it can communicate experiences and affections.
I like the marketing that puts its focus on people and not only on the brand and the product. Marketing, communication, and branding are tools to help the user. It can make them feel better about themselves.