Hi, I’m Jack Heald, I was a self-taught programmer who started, built and then sold my own software company. About the same time, my two best friends joined a cult. That’s what drove me to learn about persuasion. I wanted to help my friends. What I learned led to the creation of my latest company, Cult Your Brand.
We help companies learn how to do the things that make people fall in love with them.
Daniel Kempe is the CEO of Quuu.co. In the email I read, he said they’re “changing direction” at the company.
Now, when I read the subject line of his email, my first thought was, “Quuu’s going out of business.” I was glad to see I was wrong. Instead – as Daniel explained in his letter – they’re “going back to their roots.”
Quuu is a social media tool that integrates with Twitter. And Twitter keeps changing the integration rules on them. That’s got to be maddening.
So, first let me lay out the problem as it relates to all of us, then explain how Quuu got it wrong and then how Daniel got it right in his email.
Here’s the problem: Quuu needs to get people to try their product and then to keep using it. So They’re doing everything they can to make the product as compelling as it can be.
They’re keeping the features people love. And adding new features that people ask for. They’re listening to their customers about the business itself. The Price, customer service. That kind of thing.
And all these things – product features, product quality, customer service, pricing – these are all necessary components of building a business that people use and – more importantly – want to keep paying for.
But – and this is vital – there’s one other ingredient you have to add. Well, you don’t have to add it, but if you do, it will make everything go better.
That vital ingredient? It’s love.
Now, that may sound a little woo-woo, but hear me out. There are sound, scientific reasons for this.
See, people don’t form emotional bonds with a product or with a service. People form emotional bonds with people. Or – more accurately – with personalities.
Now, you can argue with me about this if you want. But the science is clear. I can point you to study after study that demonstrates it. More than that, I have personal experience. Indulge me in a story.
My first car was a red 1972 Dodge Polara with a black vinyl roof. God, it was hideous. I named it Blur. I could seat 6 full size adults quite comfortably inside Blur. And – in the event I needed to do so – I could stuff another 3 or 4 friends into Blur’s trunk.
Not that I ever did such a thing.
Blur got 12 miles a gallon, downhill with the wind. He handled like a boat. A large boat. Blur was a land yacht in the truest sense of the word.
Blur got me all over Oklahoma and most of Texas. I even honeymooned in Blur.
The summer after I graduated from college, I traded Blur in on a brand new brown Nissan Sentra. As I drove away from the lot, I looked in the rearview mirror and Blur was watching me leave. My heart broke. I felt like I was betraying an old friend – just swapping him out for someone newer and shinier.
I hated that feeling. And I swore to myself that I would never again name a car. And I never did. I didn’t want to form an emotional attachment to another machine. But the reality is, I had with a personality – Blur. I had an emotional attachment. That’s why leaving was so hard.
Emotional attachment. That brings us back to Quuu. It’s what’s desperately missing from Quuu. I think they probably have a really good product. But there’s nothing about Quuu – the company, the website, the people – that I can fall in love with. That anyone could fall in love with.
Is it even to fall with a company? Yeah. Here’s an example for comparison.
Jigsaw Health sells a commodity product: magnesium supplements. It’s a good product. In fact, it might be the very best magnesium you can buy. But there is nothing about the product – magnesium – that would make you fall in love with the company, Jigsaw.
Patrick Sullivan – the CEO – is very aware of this problem. That’s why he worked to give Jigsaw a personality. I guarantee you, spend just 3 minutes watching one of their videos and you’ll want to buy magnesium from Jigsaw. Even if you never bought magnesium before.
Quuu is selling software as a service. So they need their customers to keep paying month after month. They need to customers to fall in love with them.
That’s the problem Jigsaw has solved – not with product, but personality. You might buy from Jigsaw once because you need magnesium. But you’ll keep buying from them because you love the company.
Now does that mean your product doesn’t have to be good? Of course your product needs to be good. Nobody would argue otherwise. But to build a long-term relationship with your customer – especially in a market where there’s lots of competition, especially if you need customers to keep paying month after month – you need more than just a good product.
You need a personality.
When I look at the Quuu website, I get competence. I get features and benefits. What I don’t get is a personality that I can form an emotional attachment to.
That’s the bad news. Now – here’s the good news.
In his email this morning, Daniel showed me a little personality. I felt something. I didn’t merely think it. I felt a connection to people like Daniel. And because of that felt connection, because of that emotion, I’m gonna try Quuu again.
See, people are being overwhelmed by technology. Yet we are desperately hungry for emotional connections. Daniel’s honest letter this morning was all I needed to push me in the direction of trying Quuu again.
So, what’s the takeaway? How can you use this?
The glue that will bind your customers to your business is not your product. It’s something you can’t measure. It’s ephemeral: love – the love THEY feel for YOU. It’s the emotional connection they form with your company.
If your company has a poorly defined persona – or worse, like Quuu – no personality at all – they’ll never identify with you. They’ll never form a bond with you.
Anyway, Daniel. Thanks for the email. I’m gonna try Quuu again. And if you need a little help creating a persona for your company, well – you know where to find me.
I’ll link the info to Quuu and for Jigsaw Health in the comments. Let me know what you think. Can you change the way the market perceives you by showing a little personality? Let me hear from you.
Remember, if you don’t feel it, you won’t love it.
Until next time, I’m Jack Heald for Cult Your Brand.