“Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.” –Aristotle
The same could be said about the marketplace. Business success does not consist in merely possessing lots of customers, but in deserving them. In my experience, the personal touch outweighs the good marketing plan, and they must work together. A good marketing strategy must have a unique voice, something the consumer can hold on to. You may call it the culture; I prefer to think of it as the “Company Philosophy.”
My personal (and business) philosophy over the past twelve months has been around individuation. A term coined by psychiatrist Carl Jung, Wikipedia defines it as, “…the process through which a person becomes his/her ‘true self’,” and “Individuation might thus be summarized as the stabilizing of the personality.”
I have been working on creating human business systems models for a while, and the same theme keeps coming back into focus. People are successful in every market, offering all manner of product or service. If, like me, you study those who have prolonged success, you find they have a few things in common. The most resounding of these commonalities is deservedness.
Unlike companies who are “here today, gone tomorrow,” lasting enterprises actually provide a real value to the marketplace and they do it over long spans of time. So the question becomes, “How do I produce prolonged growth and stay unique?” The answer is simple: Create a personal brand within your company philosophy.
If you’re the owner (or other decision-maker, i.e. CEO) make the company philosophy yours. However, for each department within the company, allow your senior influencers (i.e. management) to create their own personal brand that will coincide with the overall voice of the company.
Example: If your sales force is getting results, it’s not because they are following the operations manual to the letter. In many case (and my own history), deviating from protocol was the only way to achieve any kind of success, and having a personality (i.e. personal brand, i.e. individuation) that was comparable to the customers (and not my employer) made sales success a reality. Making individuals successful should be part of your overall manual for operations.
All that to say, we should celebrate the individual! Within your organization, whatever shape it may take, reward the person who brings what only they can bring. If your business is a success, it’s owed in large part to the little things, to the uniqueness that your team brings to the table. This alone will earn you the right to deserve your customers business.