I confess, I was eavesdropping on my plane seatmate’s PowerPoint for a minute or two and saw this
quote: “Branding is out, Results are in!” I so wanted to applaud and interrupt him but he was dug in on
his work.
I don’t know if it was his original quote or from another source but I think it is worth considering.
Business communication is or needs to be much different in a world where tweets, Yelp, and Glassdoor
are hanging over every business’s shoulder.
Last week the big news was about the bankruptcy of Toys R Us. It is a tale of a successful relationship
with Amazon, followed by a bitter one which could have been avoided if Toys R Us had agreed to add to
its product mix, thus providing more of what the customers wanted. Toys R Us decided to go on their
own and not sell through Amazon.  In the end they learned that it was Amazon who brought buyers to
their doors, not the Toys R Us brand.  As Amazon pointed out, if they had focused on their online sales
results, Toys R Us would have realized their online business had grown exponentially while partnering
with Amazon.  Instead Toys R Us sued, left, and now is bankrupt.
We are living in a world where the rules have changed. It isn’t about whether Amazon or Toys R Us
comes out on top. It’s whether the customer wins. When the customer wins, the company that makes
that happen will always prevail.
As Jeff Bezos said, “What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around
you and when it changes against you – what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind – you have to lean
into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn't a strategy.”
I have been talking to senior executives for years about the need to rely less on branding/advertising/
marketing speak, and more on results for customer values. It’s not enough to know what the customer
values; it is essential to measure, and deliver on, those things.
Our research has shown that 85% of business do not measure the top buying criteria of their customers.
It’s very difficult to be good at something that’s not being measured. What metrics are you lacking?
How will it impact you when the competition starts breathing down your neck? Toys R Us missed the
customer’s values on choice. They paid mightily for it.

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