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Why we need to BE like Kick-Ass iPhone App Creators

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Passionate people – those iPhone App developers.  After they create and share their magical App with the world, they don’t sit on their asses admiring their handiwork.  Or take vacation. Hell no.

Raise Your Hand If You Love Presents

They guzzle even more Mountain Dew, scarf more Skittles and back to work they go.  Like snarling rabid dogs, they attack the task of finishing their next even-cooler version.  They fix the glitches, simplify and sweeten-up everything they can.  It’s a race to impress, Velcro connect, delight and create a culture of equally rabid fans.  It’s a never ending cycle of refinement and innovation.

For us customers, it’s Presents every day.  I smile every time I download one. Don’t you love it?

It’s becoming a minimum expectation.  We’re beginning to expect frequent and free upgrades and enhancements.  And not just with iPhone apps either.  We expect the same special treatment from all product and service providers and experience creators.  When a personal or business product or service is slow to improve (upgrade and enhance) we begin to think them dull and replace them with something sexier.  It’s natural human behavior.

What Does This Have To With Real Estate Agents?

I was thinking, hey, I’m in the real estate business and I’m a service provider and experience creator. How often do I roll out this-is-an-even-cooler-version of what I was offering and sharing before?  Or, do I mostly roll with the  tired tried and true?

If our clients are culture is becoming conditioned to expect Presents and I don’t have any to give, and others do, what will happen to me and my real estate business?

This line of thinking led me asking these questions:

  1. Is our listing photo quality any sharper or attractive than it was back in June?
  2. Is the quality of our connections and conversations within our networks, tribes and niches the same as it was last October?
  3. What about our primary prospecting methods?  Are they the same tried and true methods or are we including new tools and tactics?
  4. What new things have we learned about marketing, trust and sharing? Are we doing any of them?
  5. Are we still blah-blah bragging and boasting harder than we listen?
  6. Are we using new tools like Rapportive.com to expand our social solar system empires?
  7. Are we sharing our knowledge and expertise in new ways? (SlideShare.net/Scribd.com/GoogleDocs/Dropbox.com)
  8. Are we responding to requests and unexpected opportunity any faster?
  9. Is our online presence and any mightier or than it was last August?
  10. Have we made the stressful process of selling and buying any easier, faster, simpler or less stressful?  Or is it the same pain in the ass hassel it was a year ago?

You get the picture.  If everyone everywhere expects more and I continue to deliver what I’ve always delivered, how long before my sexy-offering begins to shrink?  How long before it dims and disappears altogether?  We gotta make sure this doesn’t happen to us.

Better yet.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we changed some things for the better.  Instead of losing customers we would keep them smiling and referring us.   At the same time we we would attract people who are in search of something better?

Here’s My Plan Man.

My first step is awareness.  Now I’m aware – everybody expects Old-Faithful like upgrade-enhancements.  If I don’t for them, they won’t for me.

To lock in success, I need to act like a Mountain Dew fueled, insanely motivated to Dent-The Universe iPhone App creator.  I can’t sit on my ass and admire my past.  I gotta work like a rabid dog to create and deliver upgrade-enhancements – over and over.  No easy feat, eh.  No worries though.

I have a 4 Point Plan:

1.  Every time I download my daily dose of Presents, I’ll be reminded to ask myself, “Hey Ken Brand, what Presents are you delivering today?  What unexpected cool-things have you done for them lately?”  These daily self reminders will keep me aware, focused and quasi-accountable.

2.  I’ll make a list of areas that need upgrade-enhancement and prioritize my list. Areas with the most bang-for-my-attention will sit at the tip-top.

3.  Each week I’ll focus on the top three priorities. Underneath each of my listed items I’ll briefly describe the action steps required to upgrade and enhance whatever I’m currently doing.

4.  I’ll Do It.

Well that’s my plan.  I was wondering if you felt like I do about what it takes to create at culture of delighted clients who want to hire and refer you?  If you do. . .

What Will You Do Next?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cheers.  Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit

PS.  Ok.  All you Smart Phone,  Droid, Berry and only God knows why, Windows mobil users, your App developers are passionate too.  No disrespect.  I love Apple, so I wrote what I know.  XO

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Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and BrandCandid.com. On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Benn Rosales

    February 28, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Ken, for me this puts into perspective some things I’ve seen in you lately. I get it. I love your list, and am certainly happy you’re the first thing I read on a Monday morning. If I may add one slight twist to your title and beyond – don’t “act” … but rather … be. You are or you are not.

    I doubt we have one reader at AG who isn’t passionate about their business, but beyond passion, I love that you road map the next level, the next step, and not allowing yourself to slide backwards or sit still.

  2. Rachel Vanderveen

    February 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Some really good points in there. Despite your closing comment, I’m still going to say that Blackberry is better 🙂 But I won’t deny that I’ve been drawn to the general sexiness of the Iphone for many months now, and there have been moments of weakness where I almost bought one. The presents ARE better with apple, I admit, but Blackberry makes business simple. But I’ve been diehard Blackberry for years, so I can’t REALLY say which is better forsure 🙂 What presents can I make for my clients today? Good question! Even better post!

    • Ken Brand

      February 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks Rachel, the best tool is the one you like. So rock what you love. Cheers..

  3. Sherri Loomer

    February 28, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I’m just waiting on my contract upgrade date to go to a Droid platform, this post will probably expedite my decision. Life as we know it has changed in the Facebook era.

    Augusta GA Homes

    • Ken Brand

      February 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      Yeah, gotta be able to share stuff on run for sure. I hear the Honeycomb iPad killer is pretty cool. Should make your Droid approach even mightier. Thanks for the comment.

  4. BawldGuy

    February 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Always wanting to improve your results is why you’ve been successful wherever you’ve been.

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Business Marketing

How ecommerce brands can increase sales, even on tiny purchases

(MARKETING) These tips and tricks are prime ways to boost the dollar amount spent at checkout and close more deals — even on the tiny purchases!

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online sales

There are many marketing techniques aimed at acquiring new customers. Makes sense, right? More customers, more money. But how do you increase sales with your existing customer base? The Average Order Value (AOV) = Total Revenue/# of Transactions. This number is important because it indicates how much each customer is buying. Here are some ways to increase your AOV:

First, it’s crucial to appeal to human nature. People like things for free. So, by setting a minimum to receive free delivery, buyers are more likely to continue browsing and eventually buying, in order to avoid the shipping fee. While we all know that spending $50 when I only meant to spend $37 isn’t ideal, but I’d rather pay $50 for two products, than $43 for one and shipping. It feels like a better value.

Over half of customers will discontinue their transaction when they found out there are additional costs. MORE THAN HALF. Don’t surprise people the wrong way — we don’t like it.

Second, have you ever been to Costco? Ever left Costco with exactly the amount of food you needed? No, of course, you haven’t. The concept of buying in bulk appeals to our sense of value. Oranges are $1.09 per pound but buy a 10 lb. bag and get it for $8.50. Next thing you know, you’re feeding your child’s soccer team as well as the opponents. Offering a discount on package deals and large quantities at least gets your customers thinking about purchasing more.

We all rationalize the need for a good deal. My roommate used to buy two 12-packs of the giant muffins because “They were on sale.” A discount on a package might entice someone who was looking for a little more variety but was hesitant at first.

Next, recommending products is a great way for customers to lay eyes on new things. Not everyone is a browser — some people go straight to a specific section. By using information from previous purchases and browsing history, showing related, best-selling, or recommended products is an awesome way to generate more clicks and potentially increase sales.

Finally, help us lazy people by including a gift-wrapping option at checkout so that people buying remotely for others out of town can send things directly. In order to wrap, they would have to send to themselves, wrap, then send again or deliver to the receiver. The former sounds like it’s worth $6.99 to me!

In conclusion, there are always ways to boost sales with your existing, loyal, customers. If buyers are only purchasing one thing at a time, reflect on why this is. Perhaps a few sweeteners or additional opportunities could lead to long-term growth. Remember human nature and happy selling!

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Business Marketing

A more environmentally sensitive Pantone color of the year

(MARKETING) Why is Pantone’s coral color causing a ruckus? Marketing is just marketing, right? Maybe not…

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pantone unofficial color of 2020

Every year Pantone declares the Color of the Year and for 2019, the institute declared Living Coral to be the “it” shade calling it “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” And it totally is. Imagine bright red orange swimming in a sea of crystal blue water.

Pantone’s Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman even goes so far as saying it that Living Coral was what “consumers craved” and that it incites “human interaction and social connection” which might be a stretch. It is just a color after all.

However, some found this messaging to be anything but convivial and well, off-color.

Jack Railton-Woodcock and Huei Yin Wong, partners at Jack and Huei, a Melbourne-based design agency, took umbrage with this decision and for good reason.

Their native Australia has front-row seats to the dying of the Great Barrier Reef and for them, coral is anything but lively. If anything, it’s on life support.

To call attention to the tone-deaf decision, the duo preemptively christened Bleached Coral as the Color of the Year 2020.

Touche.

The duo furthered their burn, saying, “It’s the responsibility of all of us, creative or otherwise, to find creative solutions to big problems, and right now there aren’t many problems facing humanity that are bigger than climate change.”

Oof, way to pull back the curtain, guys.

As much of a buzzkill as this pair might be, they’re not wrong, and they bring up the larger question of social responsibility in marketing.

But it’s just marketing, right?

Wrong. The very root of marketing is aspirational. We see ads for luxury cars, we imagine ourselves behind the wheel and believe that maybe we can get there. We see beauty products that promise flawless ageless skin and maybe we decide to take better care of our skin. We see Living Coral and we’re blinded to the reality that the coral just might be a thing of the past.

Yes, Pantone’s Color of the Year is one of those fun end-of-year things we in marketing get excited about, but when you’re living in a world where climate change is our reality and we see it in unnatural weather patterns and the dying off of one of our greatest natural treasures, it’s time to take pause. We can do better.

These days it’s hard to please everybody. Try as we might to make everything for everyone, if we’re going to attempt to talk about a unifying the human race through color, we sure as hell shouldn’t choose a color that reminds us all that our environment is in rough shape and it’s largely humanity’s fault. Bleached Coral isn’t the color we need, but right now, it’s the color we deserve.

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Business Marketing

Genius: How a Yoga studio is using AI to help the masses

(MARKETING) Here’s an interesting case study in how yoga, a 5,000+ year industry is using modern technology.

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yoga

Yoga is everywhere. From small town strip mall studios and big city meccas with guidance from YouTube gurus to Instagram-able practice with goats. If monitoring your breaths and balancing your body is your thing, it’s not out of reach.

However, despite its ubiquity, getting into yoga can be intimidating.

Sure, you’ve picked up a mat at Target, you’ve purchased all the Lululemon pants and Outdoor Voices bras, but actually getting on the mat and moving your body can be overwhelming if you’ve never practiced before.

Well, Would-Be-Yogis, push those fears and worries out of your mind, take three deep breaths and get on the mat, because you’re about to start posing at your pace.

Introducing the YogaBot from Austin’s own Yoga Yoga. It’s a fascinating case study in how a 5,000+ year old industry is using modern technology.

Over the past 20 years, Yoga Yoga has guided thousands of yoga students from their first class all the way through advanced teacher training and now, to help improve students choose the right path for themselves, they’ve created Design Your Yoga.

With the intention of helping new and advanced students achieve their yoga goals, Design Your Yoga is an automated experience that begins on their landing page.

Once you arrive, the bot asks you if you’d like to “Design Your Yoga.” After an initial greeting, the bot begins by getting to know your skill level.

Asking a very straightforward, “Have you done yoga before?” you are then offered nine responses ranging from “Never” to “I am a yoga therapist.”

Once you answer, you are asked further questions regarding what you’d like to achieve from your practice, what styles you’re familiar with, and when and where you’d like to practice among a few others. At the end, the bot will ask for your email address to send you a customized yoga plan. Easy peasy.

Their algorithm has thousands of possible combinations promising to make each yogi’s practice results unique to them.

“For years we’ve been working on ways to better personalize our services to the needs of each individual student. Design Your Yoga is our solution to delivering an exceptional user experience with a plan a student can follow and stick with,” said Yoga Yoga CEO Rich Goldstein.

Landing page bots are nothing new, and more often than not, they’re annoying as hell. However, this one actually seems helpful, which is refreshing.

From a marketing standpoint, Yoga Yoga CMO Marc Lefton said, “As marketers in a city as creative and entrepreneurial as Austin, we wanted to make sure we use every tool we can to bring yoga students the information they need as fast as possible.”

He’s not wrong. It worked. After trying it out for ourselves, we can’t help but be a little more ready to get on the mat. First, we’re going to need to put down the tacos.

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