It’s been a while, so I thought its time once again for another Seinfeld on Marketing (drum roll, please). In this episode, Kramer and Newman are explaining to Jerry why they want to reverse the peepholes on their apartment doors:
KRAMER: Newman and I are reversing the peepholes on our door, so you can see in.
JERRY: But then anyone can just look in and see you.
KRAMER: Our policy is, we’re comfortable with our bodies. You know, if someone wants to help themselves to an eyeful, well, we say, “enjoy the show.”
Are you as comfortable with your company as Kramer is with his body? (Before you answer that, remember that he also prepared food in his shower while he bathed and posed in his underwear for Calvin Klein).
Is there a “show” going on at your company that others would like to have a peek inside? I’m not talking about something staged that once you yell, “cut” you get back to your real life. I’m talking about having something interesting to say beyond your ability to spew corporate gobbledygook. I’m talking about being human. It worked for Microsoft and Scoble. It works for Tony Hsieh at Zappos.com.
So what can you do? Here are 3 things to remember about being transparent:
- Let go. You really don’t own your brand – it lives in the expectations of your customers. Sure you can shape it and guide it a little as you ride “shotgun” while your customers drive the brand. But you don’t own your brand and your really don’t own what’s behind the curtain either. So give your customers access to whatever is behind the curtain. It’s time you start letting go like 10-year old girls at a sleep over instead of your first encounter with the in-laws.
- Give more. There are many ways we try to hold customers at bay – those crappy calling menu systems, confusing corporate double speak and binders full of corporate polices that even outweigh your Uncle Stan after a long night of fried chicken, Cheetos and TV. Stop holding back and give more. More laughs, more quirkiness, more truth, more deep questions and more care.
- It’s not you, it’s me. There’s only one person who cares about your product – you. Your customers don’t care about what you have made. So, in words of Tom Asacker, “what matters is how you make people feel about themselves and their decisions in your presence.” So how can making yourself more transparent make others feel better about themselves? It’s simple. Humans crave contact and interactions with other humans, not things. Things are just pathways to more interactions. Open, human-to-human contact accelerates feelings and shapes a more solid connection beyond the product or service.
So there you have it. Now it’s your turn. Come on, give us a peek inside. There has never been a more robust collection of social media tools designed for transparency than there are today.
This post is part of a
weekly (oops) series, Seinfeld on Marketing.
[Photo credit: Ben Seese]
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