You've likely heard that the difference between a good inventor and a great inventor is that one of them actually did something about their idea.
I met such a person this week while traveling. I stopped into a retail branch of a particular brand I like and found something I wanted to purchase. The store manager and I started talking and I mentioned how impressed I was with this brand's resurgence in the market over the last few years. They had always sold good products but had recently improved their strategy to focus on a specific customer feature.
The result has been explosive growth and a brand that has gained new life, and that's when the store manager then told me her story. She said that she had used this company's product during an important time in her life and that she found herself completely dependent on the quality and the results she was experiencing by using this particular product.
She was so deeply impacted that she decided to pursue a career with the company. They not only hired her but she worked herself up to managing one of the retail branches in what is likely, a premiere location for this brand.
We talk about inspiration but often it's a bunch of words with nothing to point to. This past week's event brought to life some of the most valuable principles related to customers, products and inspiration.
First, inspiration is personal and authentic. We can't manufacture it, although we often try. When a person's needs are being met, in this case by a specific product, then their excitement will be contagious. She wanted to share her story and wasn't thinking about selling me a thing.
Second, customer experience is still misunderstood. Her passion for the company stemmed from her satisfaction that they had listened to what people really wanted. The product design was good, and the variety was plentiful, but there was one main feature that everyone was clamoring for and the company not only invested in delivering it but has made it the center of it's entire strategy.
Third, inspiration, when it's authentic, motivates everyone around it. I watched her interactions with store employees for a few minutes and for a moment I thought I was standing in some innovation session. Her team was as bought in as she was and I'm certain that's because of how she runs the store.
What else is there to say? I left changed with a renewed sense of responsibility to bring that type of thinking into my world. Looking forward to visiting that store again!