business, customers, innovation, Personal Brand

Who is your customer?

I love when a message is received– especially when it makes the receiver feel good, and the sender successful.

I recently came across an AD that really opened my eyes (and heart) to the idea that sales should be a WIN WIN proposal.  Unfortunately, all too often it is WIN LOSE.  Even when we want the product or service, we walk away feeling a bit of regret or guilt.  Mostly its because the sales side isn’t that friendly (but that is another story.)

So what if I see an AD on TV for a car dealer.  Maybe I will go to them. Maybe not.  But it might get me out to shop for a car. Depends on what buttons they push.

Now what if these businesses were to start thinking about the real needs of the customer without any sales as an intention?

Crazy, right?

Lets look at something a little less pricey than cars.

Take pet owners.

What do they need?  Love, companionship, and a walk outdoors, right?

Well, a dog shelter in Australia was running typical, sad music, sad face puppy dog ads on TV.


Who wouldn’t want to run right over and adopt this cute little guy?

The usual pet lovers watched the AD and made their donations, while the rest of the country switched channels.
Who wants to think about a little pug dog imprisoned in cage?

Then they began to think about the customer.

Dogs, right?


Who buys the dogs?  People.

People? Sure.

Where do the people live and work? In our community, in those big buildings downtown.

Well, isn’t it kinda like the people are imprisoned behind those cubicles?

Hmmm. Perhaps we were focused on the wrong need.


The concept was simple: Introduce the Human Walking Program to area businesses by meeting in the parks across from the office buildings.  Then ask people to walk the dogs.

Its like taste testing, only much more fun!

From the windows high above there was seen a gathering of dogs.  A curious sign.  People gathering.


“Can one of our dogs take you for a walk?” they asked.

Sure, why not.

People walked by and started to meet the pets.

Overjoyed with the attention, and new found purpose of walking the humans, the dogs were thrilled!

And the humans?

By introducing the people who worked in office buildings to the many dogs looking for a home, Lost Dog’s Home was able to find permanent homes for over 5,000 dogs living at the shelter.

No sad music.  No caged up dogs with hollow eyes.  No movie star endorsements.

Who Really Gets Saved?

The customers were identified incorrectly to begin with. It wasn’t just donations they needed to care for the animals, it was the desire to find homes–with humans–for these lost pets.


So think about your next advertising campaign. Why isn’t it working?  Who is responding?  Who should be responding?  Are you reaching out to them in a fun, inclusive way?  Turn it around a bit.  Why would they most benefit from your product or service.  Now think out of the box.

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