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Follow The Customer Wherever

Trending on Facebook yesterday was a story on porn search terms. Apparently, this now includes three states in the USA where the most popular search term is "cartoon."
Hm, whatever but the point is that porn purveyors have something to teach the rest of us: Don't judge. (Obviously, unless someone is getting hurt.)
The other day I was in Trader Joe's and I asked why the cauliflower rice is never on the shelves. Cauliflower rice is huge!
Apparently there is someone in my area who is canvassing the local stores for this product, and the minute they appears they cannot keep it in stock.
So make more!
This morning The New York Times has a front-page story about the Republican Party in chaos, as Mitt Romney declares Donald Trump "unfit."
I thought that was absolutely hilarious.
Here is a party that cannot put a candidate up for beans. The best they can do is Marco Rubio, who (last I heard) was engaging in a public piss match with Trump about his manhood.
Is this incredible stuff or what? This is a contest to serve as the leader of the free world!
And they have a candidate who is winning...a candidate who is drawing the public in droves...a candidate who is clearly the target of an Establishment takedown effort.
The Republicans do not trust their own customers.
I can give you a million other examples.
What is the deal with Uggs? These are the ugliest shoes on the planet...but girls absolutely love them.
Speaking of cartoons, I don't understand Japanese comic books at all. I don't get why my daughter will spend $7.99 for a bowl of ramen.
What is with the blue hair streaks that everybody wears nowadays?
I don't get yoga pants in public, with the butt sticking out. Most of the time, honestly, butts are best kept a secret.
And I really do not get the Fitbit.
But when I talk to people who actually own a Fitbit, they are absolutely Fitbit-insane. "I count every step!" "I take the stairs!" "It's addictive!"
The examples really go on and on. Have you ever asked a girl why she's shivering out there in the cold? Ever heard her say, "I will never wear a puffy coat! Puffy coats make you look fat!"
(I have reached the stage when I will gratefully wear ten layers of anything.)
The further you get from your customer - physically, emotionally and spiritually - the less in touch you are with their needs - the faster your brand will decline, and eventually your sales. 
Your customer includes the people who buy things from you. But it also includes your employees. Because if they aren't very excited about your stuff, if they don't get the strategy, if they don't want to knock themselves out to promote you without any additional compensation - then you are doing something wrong!
Stop looking at your belly button. Stop listening to your friends. Start hanging out with with the people who you pay to do stuff, and the people who will pay for the stuff you have for sale.
As long as you aren't hurting anyone with your offering, those are the people you should listen to.
________
Copyright 2015 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. Dr. Blumenthal is founder of the BrandSuccess consultancy and co-founder/strategic advisor to the All Things Brand community portal. Opinions are her own and not those of any government agency or entity or the federal government as a whole. No commercial or noncommercial endorsement expressed or implied. You can contact Dr. Blumenthal on LinkedIn or at her website.
Photo by Bruce Aldridge via Flickr (Creative Commons). 

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