Life is full of surprises. Business is full of surprises. As a business owner, what have you found surprising?
If Only…It Didn’t All Work Out Perfectly
We’d all love it if everything we tried worked out perfectly the first time. However, life doesn’t work that way. Sometimes something as simple as pulling on our pants goes awry and we need to react quickly to keep from falling over. Oops, sometimes we still go down! Haha hopefully nothing major damaged and we move on.
Keep the Longview in View
In business, we need to keep in mind that when we try something new, it may not work out. But what we had better do is think about how to minimize any negative consequences. In other words, don’t get so focused on what you’re doing that you forget to consider a bigger picture. You might also want to consider how other people might perceive what you’re doing. After all, everyone has a different experience than yours.
Even huge companies and notable historic figures don’t and didn’t always get it right.
The Big New Coke Debacle
In April 1985, Coke introduced the world to New Coke. The company thought that if they created a drink that would more closely mimic Pepsi it would improve their market share.
Instead, they angered their core customers. New Coke went bye-bye but they had damaged the relationship with their customers. Fortunately, Coke brought the classic formula back quickly and customers were just as thrilled to get their old Coke back as they had been angry when their old Coke was taken away.
Make sure you don’t change a core part of your business that key clients value. You might not like the results.
Burger King Creeps People Out
A while back Burger King ran ads that had their masked king popping up in people’s bedrooms and other odd places. It didn’t exactly create the right feeling towards Burger King. Instead, it created fear and a sense that the ads were creepy.
Make sure you consider how your audience will perceive your messages.
Most of us know Winston Churchill for his role in World War II. Yet during World War, I Churchill urged the military to attack southern Turkey. In the ensuing campaign, the allies lost around 78,000 soldiers.
But that didn’t stop Churchill. Sure he wished things hadn’t turned out that way but he didn’t just walk away assuming he wasn’t cut out for leadership. What about you? Are you letting any recent difficulties keep you from moving forward?
Kenneth Cole’s Tweet that Didn’t Go So Well
In the spring of 2011 Kenneth Cole, the clothing brand sent out an ill thought through tweet.
Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring selection is now available online…
Not the best move, given the fact that the uproar being referred to was the Arab spring uprising in Egypt. You need to be aware and sensitive to what’s going on around you and how people might perceive your message. You need to think about how people will relate to what you’re saying.
It’s so easy to get stuck in our own world and fail to consider things from other people’s point of view.
Each of these mistakes was made by trained and competent people. Even big companies can get it wrong when it comes to their marketing and advertising campaigns.
Things Don’t Always Go As Planned
As business owners, we need to realize that even though we plan carefully and have the best intent things don’t always work as planned. It’s just how things work. Then the question is what do you do when you learn that it isn’t working?
Like Churchill, we don’t need to give up and walk away. We can get up and try again. I don’t know when you last feel down putting on your pants but I doubt you’re still lying there. I know I’m not!
Companies spend millions on consultants, marketing and advertising agencies. Yet not all the advice from a consultant works out as well as hoped. And sometimes marketing and advertising campaigns don’t go as planned. Life is full of surprises.
But when we realize this is all part of how it works we can choose to learn from the situation in hopes that we at least won’t repeat the same mistake again. Any quest for a reward involves some risk and the rewards go to those who take the risks.
Winston Churchill could’ve given up after the allies lost in southern Turkey. I’m sure he learned a lot from that experience that helped him as he led Britain through World War II.
In spite of their mistakes and blunders, Kenneth Cole, Coke, Burger King, and Churchill did and are still doing their thing. They didn’t just give up because the messed up. Neither should you and neither should I.
What have you learned from recent mishaps? What else could you learn from a recent situation that didn’t go as planned?
In all your endeavors, I believe it’s helpful to keep the goal, the big picture, in mind. I believe that if you’re in business, the overall goal should be finding ways to provide the best service you can for your clients. You won’t get it right all the time but keep in mind it’s the long term that matters. Today is just that, today. There were lots of yesterday’s and there will be lots of tomorrows so just keep on endeavoring to deliver your best to your clients.
Photo Credit: Never stop. Never Give Up. Persistence is the key. Thanks, Fab Lentz.